According to a new poll, two-thirds of Canadians say they would encourage licensed cannabis growers to open their own private retail shops.
Pot Sold At Private Retailers
The survey, conducted by Oraclepoll Research, asked a total of 5,000 Canadian citizens whether or not they were in favor of non-government run dispensaries, and a resounding 65 percent of people surveyed admitted they would.
Recently, Canadian provinces Ontario and New Brunswick announced that all legal cannabis will be sold at government-sanctioned outlets, effective July 1st, 2018, when recreational pot becomes legal.
Ontario also announced earlier this month that they would be opening up over 150 dispensaries through the provincial liquor distributor, the LCBO. Their goal is to create a governmental monopoly in an effort to squash illicit black-market cannabis sales.
It has been reported that the province will try to sell weed for as low as $8 a gram, in order to compete with black market pricing.
Critics have argued that restricting private sales will not deter regular cannabis users from purchasing illicitly-sold marijuana.
Similarly, New Brunswick has declared they have set up a Crown corporation (in other words, a state-run enterprise) to oversee all cannabis sales in the province.
Canada and Cannabis
Canada has been one of the more progressive countries when it comes to cannabis legalization. Medicinal marijuana has been legal in the country since 2001, and by July 1st, 2018, it will become the second country to legalize recreational weed on a federal level.
Despite being legalized on a country-wide scale, regulation and distribution will be left up to each individual province.
Ontario itself has already hashed out several laws regulating the soon-to-be-legal plant, including a zero-tolerance policy for driving under the influence of cannabis, as well as an age restriction for purchasing weed (customers must be 19 years of age and older).
Collectively speaking, the majority of Canadians appear to back the legalization of cannabis, albeit by a somewhat slim margin. The Oracle Survey found that 57 percent of respondents supported the government’s decision to legalize weed for recreational purposes.
Additionally, the survey also found that just 26 percent of the aforementioned respondents are regular cannabis-users, but a whopping 39 percent said they plan to try it upon legalization.
Ontario Finance Minister Charles Sousa has said he believes the recreational cannabis market could usher in $100 million in tax revenue for the province, strictly based off figures from Colorado’s legal operation.
“It’s not a ridiculous number to consider because, as you’ve seen in other parts of North America, the numbers have actually been even higher,” Sousa said.