Private retailers to sell cannabis in Ontario

Private retailers to sell cannabis in Ontario
Private retailers to sell cannabis in Ontario. The internet was a buzz a week ago with reported news Ontario is going to allow private retailers sell cannabis when the law changes on October 17. Reports say an official announcement was due on July 31. But there has still been nothing confirming new plans from the Ontario government. Current plans under the previous Liberal government were for state run pot shops. Run by the Liquor Control Board of Ontario. they created a new subsidiary called the Ontario Cannabis Store (OCS).

Private retailers to sell cannabis in Ontario

With a plan for 40 retail stores to open in 2018 this would give the government a monopoly on cannabis sales. But there has been little activity seen in preparing for legal cannabis. With only four locations out of 40 announced, there has been little work if any at these store locations. According to an unnamed source the new plan would be the same as Alberta’s system. Alberta plans to have a mix of state and private run retail cannabis stores. New Ontario Premier Doug ford has already said he was thinking of allowing private retailers. In June he said “the government did not need to stick their nose into everything”. An Ontario Ministry of Finance spokesperson would only say that Ontario would be ready for when the laws change in October.

Announcement ends the silence

Since Ford moved into the premier’s office there has been silence about how Ontario would proceed with the physical retail outlets planned by the previous government. It is good news for the province that handling retail sales would now be through private retailers. But it could be too little too late. There is little time to prepare bricks and mortar store in time for the cannabis law changes. while the government said cannabis will be available at that time, people in Ontario will have to shop online from day one. The Globe and Mail reported that under the new plan:
  • the government will still run cannabis wholesale and distribution
  • OCS will run online sales using Shopify software
  • private retailers will operate cannabis retail outlets.

Ontario’s preparations for legal cannabis stalled

Some say the decision to allow private retailers to sell pot in Ontario comes as no surprise. While other states are busy preparing for legal cannabis sales, few preparations are evident in the province. It appears preparations for retail stores have stalled. With a change in government there has been a lack of communication on its plans. But this could mean there are discussions going on behind the scenes. While campaigning, Ford had made clear he did not like the Liberal plan for a government monopoly on cannabis sales. The news at this late stage for private retailers leaves everyone trying to work out how to make the new plan work. It is unlikely there will be retail stores ready to open on day of the law changes.

Ontario is hiring to work in its pot shops

The Ontario Cannabis Store is proceeding to hire staff for its proposed 40 stores. Personnel agency Randstad is to keep hiring people for retail positions after the Globe and Mail published its story late in July. Randstad hiring people across Ontario to fill positions for the government-owned cannabis stores. There has been no comment from either Randstad or the finance ministry on the current state of play. With little evidence of preparations for legal cannabis stores, there are no public denials to the stories published about a change in plans. A mixed public/private cannabis sales model is great news for private retailers. It also means the government has not wasted public money leasing, renovating and hiring staff for its government run stores. They must staff their pot shops with stores with Ontario Public Sector Employees Union (OPSEU) under a deal signed by the previous government. OPSEU president Warren Thomas said a private sector retail system was not his first choice but a hybrid system could work.

Pot activist expresses surprise at the news

Jodie Emery renowned as a cannabis activist expressed surprise at the news of private retailers in Ontario. She is excited at the prospect and thought it would take longer for this sort of news. Emery is ready to get on board to sell cannabis to Ontarians. She said a private retail sector makes it a fair system for everyone. Legal cannabis should be about creating jobs and raising tax revenue to benefit the country. She recently opened a hemp-themed coffee shop in in Toronto’s Kensington Market. If the news of private retailers is true, she can use the premises to stock cannabis along with coffee.

Toronto is ready for private cannabis sales

The café model has been successful in Amsterdam and Emery believes it could work in Toronto. She designed her café as a safe place for people to buy and enjoy their coffee and cannabis. She also said Canada will have a problem with supply. She believes the federal government’s tight controls on production means there will not be enough product for demand. Emery said that too needs to change. There will not be enough cannabis to supply people with cannabis from growers approved by the government. She wants to see the Ontario government to lobby the federal government to allow farmers in Ontario to grow and supply cannabis.

Starbuds secures retail locations in Ontario

Without confirmation Ontario will allow private retailers, Starbuds Canada announced it had secured retail locations in the province. It is positioning itself to be a leading distributor before the cannabis laws change. The company is a joint venture between Starbuds and Compass Cannabis Clinics in the US. Starbuds Canada president Dave Martyn said they looked forward to further expansion. The news allows them to plan to offer their services to the province’s people. The company intends to offer top level customer service while providing educational support. It also offers more investment opportunities for its supporters. The first locations announced are in Windsor and Whitby.

Starbuds Canada

Starbuds Canada is part of the fast-growing Starbuds US cannabis network. Starbuds US began in 2013. It was the first retail store to get a licence when Colorado cannabis laws changed. It has grown to more than 13 stores across Maryland and Colorado and has licences to operate in Massachusetts and Louisiana. The company made $50 million in revenue in 2017.

Compass Cannabis Clinic

The Compass Cannabis Clinic is a medical company. It provides consultation and educational services to Canadians. The company has leases for 40 locations across the country. It has a mix of clinics either open or in development or preparing to become retail stores. Compass also has 12 retail development licences in Alberta.

Cannabis Ontario is still a matter of debate

While the news of private cannabis retailers is good, it is still all debatable. Until the government makes a formal announcement it private retail outlets is speculation. Currently, Ontarians have no certainty its government will supply cannabis from retail outlets from October 17. What is certain is they will be able to buy cannabis from the government’s online store. While there are still no formal announcements, there should be news in the coming weeks.

Private retailers to sell cannabis in Ontario

The internet was a buzz a week ago with reported news Ontario is going to allow private retailers sell cannabis when the law changes on October 17. Reports say an official announcement was due on July 31. But there has still been nothing confirming new plans from the Ontario government. Current plans under the previous Liberal government were for state run pot shops. Run by the Liquor Control Board of Ontario. they created a new subsidiary called the Ontario Cannabis Store (OCS). With a plan for 40 retail stores to open in 2018 this would give the government a monopoly on cannabis sales. But there has been little activity seen in preparing for legal cannabis. With only four locations out of 40 announced, there has been little work if any at these store locations. According to an unnamed source the new plan would be the same as Alberta’s system. Alberta plans to have a mix of state and private run retail cannabis stores. New Ontario Premier Doug ford has already said he was thinking of allowing private retailers. In June he said “the government did not need to stick their nose into everything”. An Ontario Ministry of Finance spokesperson would only say that Ontario would be ready for when the laws change in October.

Announcement ends the silence

Since Ford moved into the premier’s office there has been silence about how Ontario would proceed with the physical retail outlets planned by the previous government. It is good news for the province that handling retail sales would now be through private retailers. But it could be too little too late. There is little time to prepare bricks and mortar store in time for the cannabis law changes. while the government said cannabis will be available at that time, people in Ontario will have to shop online from day one. The Globe and Mail reported that under the new plan:
  • the government will still run cannabis wholesale and distribution
  • OCS will run online sales using Shopify software
  • private retailers will operate cannabis retail outlets.

Ontario’s preparations for legal cannabis stalled

Some say the decision to allow private retailers to sell pot in Ontario comes as no surprise. While other states are busy preparing for legal cannabis sales, few preparations are evident in the province. It appears preparations for retail stores have stalled. With a change in government there has been a lack of communication on its plans. But this could mean there are discussions going on behind the scenes. While campaigning, Ford had made clear he did not like the Liberal plan for a government monopoly on cannabis sales. The news at this late stage for private retailers leaves everyone trying to work out how to make the new plan work. It is unlikely there will be retail stores ready to open on day of the law changes.

Ontario is hiring to work in its pot shops

The Ontario Cannabis Store is proceeding to hire staff for its proposed 40 stores. Personnel agency Randstad is to keep hiring people for retail positions after the Globe and Mail published its story late in July. Randstad hiring people across Ontario to fill positions for the government-owned cannabis stores. There has been no comment from either Randstad or the finance ministry on the current state of play. With little evidence of preparations for legal cannabis stores, there are no public denials to the stories published about a change in plans. A mixed public/private cannabis sales model is great news for private retailers. It also means the government has not wasted public money leasing, renovating and hiring staff for its government run stores. They must staff their pot shops with stores with Ontario Public Sector Employees Union (OPSEU) under a deal signed by the previous government. OPSEU president Warren Thomas said a private sector retail system was not his first choice but a hybrid system could work.

Pot activist expresses surprise at the news

Jodie Emery renowned as a cannabis activist expressed surprise at the news of private retailers in Ontario. She is excited at the prospect and thought it would take longer for this sort of news. Emery is ready to get on board to sell cannabis to Ontarians. She said a private retail sector makes it a fair system for everyone. Legal cannabis should be about creating jobs and raising tax revenue to benefit the country. She recently opened a hemp-themed coffee shop in in Toronto’s Kensington Market. If the news of private retailers is true, she can use the premises to stock cannabis along with coffee.

Toronto is ready for private cannabis sales

The café model has been successful in Amsterdam and Emery believes it could work in Toronto. She designed her café as a safe place for people to buy and enjoy their coffee and cannabis. She also said Canada will have a problem with supply. She believes the federal government’s tight controls on production means there will not be enough product for demand. Emery said that too needs to change. There will not be enough cannabis to supply people with cannabis from growers approved by the government. She wants to see the Ontario government to lobby the federal government to allow farmers in Ontario to grow and supply cannabis.

Starbuds secures retail locations in Ontario

Without confirmation Ontario will allow private retailers, Starbuds Canada announced it had secured retail locations in the province. It is positioning itself to be a leading distributor before the cannabis laws change. The company is a joint venture between Starbuds and Compass Cannabis Clinics in the US. Starbuds Canada president Dave Martyn said they looked forward to further expansion. The news allows them to plan to offer their services to the province’s people. The company intends to offer top level customer service while providing educational support. It also offers more investment opportunities for its supporters. The first locations announced are in Windsor and Whitby.

Starbuds Canada

Starbuds Canada is part of the fast-growing Starbuds US cannabis network. Starbuds US began in 2013. It was the first retail store to get a licence when Colorado cannabis laws changed. It has grown to more than 13 stores across Maryland and Colorado and has licences to operate in Massachusetts and Louisiana. The company made $50 million in revenue in 2017.

Compass Cannabis Clinic

The Compass Cannabis Clinic is a medical company. It provides consultation and educational services to Canadians. The company has leases for 40 locations across the country. It has a mix of clinics either open or in development or preparing to become retail stores. Compass also has 12 retail development licences in Alberta.

Cannabis Ontario is still a matter of debate

While the news of private cannabis retailers is good, it is still all debatable. Until the government makes a formal announcement it private retail outlets is speculation. Currently, Ontarians have no certainty its government will supply cannabis from retail outlets from October 17. What is certain is they will be able to buy cannabis from the government’s online store.   Private retailers to sell cannabis in Ontario   While there are still no formal announcements, there should be news in the coming weeks.

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