Three marijuana dispensaries in one Toronto block. That’s just one indication of the current demand.
Yet the Ontario Liberals have come up with a half-baked pot plan that will open only 150 stores across the province by 2020. How will these handful of stores even come close to meeting existing demand?
This plan won’t stop the underground market. It will not curb the sale of illegal, unsafe or unregulated cannabis.
This is a plan that puts the political establishment and government bureaucrats before the people of Ontario. It lays the foundation for big corporations to control the marijuana market at the expense of local farmers, craft producers and main street businesses.
It is not a plan that will make most marijuana sales safe, legal or regulated. It is not a plan that will benefit small businesses or local economies.
The Ontario Liberals’ pot announcement is more about optics than an actual plan to legalize marijuana sales safely.
Just think about it for a second. Ontario is simply too big for 40 to a maximum of 150 government-run stores to have any hope of meeting demand for a substance that is ubiquitous around the province. There are 651 LCBO outlets and 451 Beer Stores alone in Ontario. Something tells me that a website and 40 to 150 stores will not satisfy existing demand for marijuana.
Limited supply for a product in such high use already will only lead marijuana users to buy from their existing underground suppliers. The Liberals’ law-and-order rhetoric, while satisfying conservatives who did not want marijuana legalized in the first place, will only escalate the failed war on weed.