Article by Ashley Csanady, The National Post
Big business in Ontario wants a cut of the legal pot business.
That’s the message the Ontario Chamber of Commerce sent to Premier Kathleen Wynne in an open letter on Wednesday.
“We believe that a private-sector, licensing-based and locally oriented approach is one worth seriously considering,” the Chamber wrote. Its members both want a chance to get in on the legal weed business and clearly don’t want a government-run monopoly like the LCBO to be the only source.
With 60,000 members, the Chamber is a powerful voice that speaks both for businesses and for the individual chambers in cities across the province. In addition to pressing for private sales of pot, it raised concerns about the underground economy and the need to ensure legal weed is sold responsibly and in communities that want it there — if the federal Liberals follow through on their pledge to introduce legislation to legalize marijuana next spring.
The Chamber also noted the importance of consumer choice to quelling the criminal trade of pot: “not all market-models are equally effective in eliminating the underground economy and, thus, special attention should be given to the unintended consequences of an overly regulated regime.”