Article by Leaf News
Dear Herb: I am curious about what you think will happen to the well-known illegal dispensary in Whitby, Ont., called Cannastop. I work there, and I’m worried we will be getting hit hard soon and I will be going down. Thanks for your help, Herb. — Cannabis Clerk
Dear Cannabis Clerk: In my opinion, the future looks pretty dim for illegal Canadian cannabis dispensaries such as Cannastop. (I’ve written about this in the past.)
But since then, the situation in Ontario has changed a great deal. The provincial Liberal government’s plans for an enormous government cannabis retail monopoly turned to ash when they were ousted by Doug Ford’s Progressive Conservatives, who quickly announced plans to open retail cannabis storefronts to the private sector (online sales will remain in the government’s hands).
Will Cannastop and other illegal cannabis dispensaries in Ontario be allowed to join in the legal retail fun? It’s possible. On the one hand, Ontario Finance Minister Vic Fedelli described his government’s choice to open up the market to the private sector as “an opportunity for small business to get involved.”
On the other hand, Fedelli was clear that existing illegal dispensaries with legal aspirations will have to shut down before the Cannabis Act takes effect on Oct. 17, then apply for licences just like anyone else.
“If you are still operating an illegal retail operation after October 17, you would not be able to get a licence in Ontario,” said Fedelli.
As far as government statements go, that one’s remarkably clear.