Ottawa Politicians Wary About Potential Pot Privatization

Article by Krystalle Ramlakhan, CBC News

Ottawa politicians wary about potential pot privatization Facebook Twitter Reddit LinkedIn Province says it's been working to launch cannabis retail and distribution system to meet federal deadline Krystalle Ramlakhan · CBC News Mona Fortier, the Liberal MP for Ottawa-Vanier, wants to make sure that young people aren't accessing cannabis under the new regime. (Olivier Plante/Radio-Canada) Recreational marijuana will be legal in the fall, but under the new Ontario government it's not yet clear what role private stores will have in that market. (Associated Press)

Politicians in Ottawa’s core neighbourhoods are reacting to the uncertainty around who will sell cannabis with a new Progressive Conservative government in power and Doug Ford as Ontario’s premier.

Ford has said he’s open to recreational marijuana being sold on the free market, but he also wants to consult with municipalities, stakeholders and his caucus before deciding whether to tinker with the current plan to open LCBO-style retail stores.

Ottawa is one of the first Ontario municipalities that will host a government-run store once cannabis is legalized Oct. 17.

Mathieu Fleury, city councillor for Rideau-Vanier, said he’s not against legalization as a whole but he has concerns with privatization.

He said if a store is run by the LCBO, people know who to contact if there’s a problem with the product — but that might not be the case with private stores.

“You’re dealing with mom-and-pop shops that are managing those substances,” said Fleury.

“We want to make sure that we’re not [negatively] impacting communities.”

Read the full article here.

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