Marijuana Stocks Rise After Ontario Government Announcement

Marie Harrington
September 10, 2017

The country's most populous province is the first to flesh out its plans for the Canada-wide legalization of the substance.

Sarnia's lack of private marijuana dispensaries could mean the border city takes a back seat when liquor control board (LCBO)-operated cannabis stores open shop, Sarnia's mayor says.

Aaron Salz, founder of cannabis consulting firm Stoic Advisory, said the decision "will only serve to bolster the black market", since the 40 stores planned for next July won't come close to meeting the demand. It will not be sold in government liquor stores, and the legal age will be 19 in Ontario, as it is for alcohol.

"The experience of other jurisdictions such as the USA has shown us that it is better to start with strong controls, and you evaluate the system over time", Ontario Finance Minister Charles Sousa said. "It's going to be controlled by the government".

- A New Brunswick legislature committee is recommending selling marijuana through government-operated stores to anyone 19 years or older.

In a press conference Friday, Morgan said that the government will pay attention to what other provinces roll out and that he favours "consistency" across the country.

The LCBO will also sell pot online through a government-run website.

Pricing and tax decisions will be made after consultations with the federal government, although Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's Liberal Party want to keep prices low to drive out the black market. A province-wide campaign will also be launched to draw the public's attention to the rules, in addition to harm reduction strategies.

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Locations have not been determined yet. However, he said the government will explore the possibility of allowing marijuana-licensed establishments in the future.

"In a Nanos Research poll we commissioned in the summer of 2016, Ontarians picked the LCBO as their number one choice to sell cannabis", he said.

"Frankly, this is uncharted territory and we're going to have to monitor it and see how it develops", Sousa said.

"We are calling on the (Premier) Kathleen Wynne government to ensure that law enforcement, public health and local communities are properly consulted and have the tools they need as the Liberals roll out this proposal", Scott said in a statement.

Keeping Ontario's roads safe is a critical part of the province's safe and sensible approach to the federal government's legalization of cannabis. Naqvi and Sousa would not comment on how much the system will cost to set up, how legal marijuana will be priced, or how much revenue the sale is expected to generate for the province.

Meanwhile, several Canadian marijuana stocks rose Friday ahead of the Ontario government's announcement and stayed there. The facility is owned by Canopy Growth, Canada's largest medical marijuana company.

"It's hard to analyze the potential risks to our clinics without looking at those factors, but I think there will always be a subset of people who prefer to use it under the care of a doctor", said Levy.

Other reports by TheSundaySentinel

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