Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Wednesday June 27, 2018
Doug Ford wants consultations on cannabis sales in Ontario
With the legalization of recreational cannabis now months away, Ontario’s incoming premier said he wants to consult further with municipalities, stakeholders and his caucus before deciding whether to change the plan laid out by his predecessors for the sale of marijuana.
The outgoing Liberals had planned to roll out 150 standalone pot stores run by the Liquor Control Board of Ontario by the end of 2020, with the first 40 scheduled to open this year.
Doug Ford, who was elected this month, had previously suggested he would be open to greater privatization of marijuana sales.
But when asked about his plan for pot sales on Thursday, Ford said he’s focusing on the Liquor Control Board of Ontario, which he said already has infrastructure in place that would allow it to sell marijuana once it becomes legal this fall.
“What I said is I’d be focusing on the LCBO. I’m private sector, I don’t believe government should stick their nose into everything, but again, this is a path we have never went down,” he said. “We’re going to tread carefully on this and we’re going to consult with the local municipalities and we’re going to make a decision after we talk to caucus.”
The Progressive Conservatives say when the premier-designate talks about focusing on the LCBO, he’s referring to Ontario Cannabis Stores run by the LCBO, as the outgoing Liberal government planned.
Ford also suggested Thursday that Ottawa had left the provinces with little support to prepare for legalization.
“This is a path that the federal government has dumped on all the provinces,” he said.
The federal government announced this week that Canadians will be able to legally purchase recreational marijuana starting Oct. 17. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said legalization was pushed back at the request of several provinces who sought more time to make the transition. (Source: CTV)