In an entirely expected turn of events following the election of a Conservative government in Ontario, the Ford government seemed to announce one week ago that it will open the doors to private sales of cannabis in Ontario, with details to be released at a later date.
Currently preoccupied with unrolling ‘buck a beer’, the government has said it would like to start with ensuring Ontarians have the easiest possible access to alcohol before unveiling their detailed and carefully thought-out plan for private cannabis sales over the next two months. “I’m all about small business,” explained Premier Ford. “Starting off as an entrepreneur in the unregulated market myself, I know it’s all about opportunity.”
Industry advocates across Ontario have begun celebrations, interested in the growth potential of private retail sales across Canada. The announcement has flipped many cannabis advocates into full-fledged, card-carrying Conservatives.
“We won!” said one industry entrepreneur. “Down with the OCS!” replied another. Parties have erupted across Ontario celebrating this big win, and according to unconfirmed speculation from people who have no reason to actually know, the retail stores run by the OCS will be scrapped entirely.
Jerry Stimus, a cannabis activist in Toronto, explains that “Doug Ford is good in my books. I don’t mind the cuts to mental health services and the slashing of the basic income pilot study—that’s for socialists. I just care about selling cannabis to middle and upper-class white people in my store, which will be just like shopping at an Apple Store.”
While details have yet to be unveiled, this hasn’t stopped industry experts from using this potential-future-almost-but-not-yet announcement to their advantage. Calls for help transitioning unregulated dispensaries, licensing, and navigating the system that hasn’t been created are already ringing throughout social media.
“We have no confirmed reports of what this will actually look like,” Frank Spuds, an industry expert, explained. “We have an opportunity to shape the narrative here, and make a lot of money doing it—we don’t need an official announcement to get moving.” When asked how any of this information was sourced, Spuds answered: “I know a guy, who knows a guy, who knows a guy on Twitter, who works with the OCS.”
While a mere 70 days exist before the October 17th timeline, the week that has lapsed since the announcement has seriously shifted some into thinking the Ford government might contemplate a hybrid model. “Those seven days were super crucial,” responded Magda LaFleur, a lawyer from Barrie, Ontario, “they’ll just never make the deadline now. Last week they would have, but now? It’s too late.”
“But anyone looking to get into the space should call my offices for a consultation at a very affordable price!”
One thing is for certain: online sales will be up and running through the OCS by mid-October. Unless they aren’t, since, apparently they still haven’t bought any weed. We can all rest easy knowing the fate of cannabis retail in Ontario has been left up to Doug Ford. This surely won’t be a disappointment at all.
* Ford’s cuts to Ontario Satire Council grants programs have not affected our funding.