Article by Dave Battagello, Windsor Star
Business leaders have estimated sales in Ontario for recreational marijuana will range between $1 billion to $2 billion by 2024 should it be legalized by the federal government.
So, the economic stakes are high — both locally and across the nation — should pot be legalized as planned.
That is why the Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber is among groups pushing the provincial government to get going on what needs to be done to ease the transition toward marijuana legalization.
“Whether you agree with the decision or not, the federal government is proceeding on this,” said local chamber CEO Matt Marchand. “That’s already been decided.
“With the feds going forward we need to start an extensive conversation on the framework for distribution of marijuana in this province.”
At the urging of both Windsor’s chamber and Greater Niagara chamber, Ontario chamber president Allan O’Dette sent a letter Tuesday to Premier Kathleen Wynne calling on her to launch consultations so provincial regulations can be formed around recreational marijuana.
“Our membership has expressed interest in this issue and the impact it will have on businesses and communities across the province,” said O’Dette in his three-page letter.
“Appreciating issues of jurisdiction remain uncertain, we nonetheless think it important that Ontario be proactive in its policy planning in this area.”
The letter calls for eliminating the underground marijuana economy, limiting points of access, ensuring the private sector is involved and investing in addiction treatment.