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.”