Ontario’s Legalization Plan: A 1950’s Approach to a 21st Century Marketplace?

Article by Lift News

A 1950's approach to a 21st Century Marketplace? How other provinces might improve on Ontario’s plan for retail distribution of cannabis

Ontario’s decision to establish cannabis retail distribution in a government monopoly generated a strong reaction from industry professionals, activists, and the media alike. Essentially, what is proposed is a hybrid approach to distributing cannabis, similar to that of tobacco and alcohol, which may result in a 1950’s-style retail consumer experience.

Picture a customer walking up to a wooden counter and ordering a product off a menu board, engaging limitedly with both brands and staff, with no smelling, no touching and brand sensitivity perhaps playing no role in cannabis purchasing contexts.

This is completely at odds with how individuals are currently buying their cannabis, either through dispensaries or their local drug dealer.

So why is the Ontario government pursuing an old-school approach within a 21st century marketplace? If every other company in the retail market, be it Starbucks, Apple or The Bay is looking to innovate and provide a better retail experience, shouldn’t Ontario as well?

For the moment, let’s set aside ideologies, the concept of governments active in the retail sector, the differences between union and private sector wages, and other economic arguments.

Looking to the facts concerning what is going to drive the retail experience for consumers, a great deal will be affected by how the provinces and territories choose to interpret Bill C-45, The Cannabis Act.

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