Article by CBC News
Several cannabis companies and business groups are applauding the Ontario government’s new plan to add private retailers to its plans for the sale of recreational pot in the province.
The new plan — which will see the province launch online cannabis sales on October 17 — means sales at ‘bricks and mortar’ stores won’t begin until April 1, 2019. The recently elected Progressive Conservative dumped the Liberals’ plan for the province to keep on a monopoly on cannabis sales that would have seen the government operate 150 brick-and-mortar stores by 2020.
Aurora Cannabis Inc., one of the major players in Canada’s pot industry, and Alcanna Inc., which runs 229 private liquor outlets in Alberta, B.C. and Alaska, offered kudos to the province for change in how cannabis will be sold.
The two companies say they have already scouted out over 100 potential retail locations in the province. The businesses said they have a licensing deal that will allow Alcanna to open retail cannabis stores under the Aurora name once regulations permit.
“Allowing a private retail channel in Ontario for recreational cannabis is good news for industry, consumers, and taxpayers, and will go a long way to making a meaningful impact on the grey market,” Aurora CEO Terry Booth said in a statement.
Jay Wilgar, the CEO of Newstrike Brands and its subsidiary, Up Cannabis, expressed similar sentiments.