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PostPosted: Sat Sep 09, 2017 10:38 am    Post subject: A Marijuana Control Board for Ontario? Reply with quote

Oh-.oh ... the people who brought us $billion dollar boondoggles like the e-health scandal, or the "green energy"debacle, let alone the ORANG air-ambulance goof-up ... (I don't even mention the cancelled gas plants) ... are making plans to cash in the the tax windfall that legalized monopoly government marijuana will surely bring.

This is going to be a comic opera.

If it goes full LCBO, there will be marijuana articles appearing in the LCBO's 'lifestyle' magazine, along with pot-infused wines, perhaps, along with promotional materials featuring logos of marijuana companies. It'll have 'brands' like Johnny Walker Black Label, reportedly the scotch preferred by the Saudi royal family!

Pot black market wider and deeper than government’s half-hearted plans: Hébert

If anything over the next few years, the legalized sale of marijuana stands to fatten the golden goose that is the black market rather than kill it.

National Affairs Columnist
Fri., Sept. 8, 2017
Canada is edging closer to the July 2018 target date for the legalization of marijuana in a haze of political smoke.

With every new development, the gap between the political narrative attending the initiative and its actual implementation is harder to bridge.

Take the federal government’s talking points. They have greatly evolved since Justin Trudeau was campaigning on university campuses in the last election campaign. Logic has not always benefited from that evolution.

To hear the prime minister these days, the point of the policy is to make it harder for minors to buy marijuana. Clearly, Canada is making its peace with marijuana the better to fight it.

According to Trudeau, that will be achieved by imposing stiffer penalties on those who sell weed illegally and/or drive under the influence. There is a commitment to government-funded public education campaigns to drive home the health risks associated with marijuana.

Fair enough, but those are all measures a health-conscious federal government could have undertaken without jumping through the hoops of legalizing the substance.

The oft-missing link in the Liberal talking points is how Trudeau’s stated goal ties in with the legal sale of marijuana.

Proponents of the plan talk of the need to replace a thriving underground market with a regulated one. The calculation, or at least the hope, is that legal competition will accomplish what judicial repression has so far failed to achieve. But to do that one must be willing to use means on par with policy ambitions.

In the federal/provincial division of labour, setting the legal marijuana business on a competitive footing is left to the discretion of individual provinces. It is a politically uncomfortable task for which none is particularly enthusiastic.

Cue the government of Ontario.

On Friday it became the first to come up with a template to sell marijuana.

As Canada’s largest province, Ontario stands to set the tone for much of the rest of the country. Many of its sister provinces are still seeking advice from experts and/or sounding out constituents.

Quebec, for instance, has yet to decide something as basic as whether to apply the legal age to buy alcohol to marijuana. Ontario is set to use age 19 for both categories.

But the Ontario blueprint falls well short of the purported goal of driving out of business those who sell weed illegally.

If anything over the next few years, it stands to fatten the golden goose that is the marijuana black market rather than kill it.

The plan is to establish a government monopoly on the selling of marijuana. The LCBO would run the operation in stores distinct from its liquor outlets. Ontario would open 80 pot shops by July 1, 2019 and another 70 over the following year.

It would take a lot more than 150 outlets and quite a bit longer than two years to flood the market with legal marijuana in a province the size of Ontario.

For the sake of comparison, Colorado, with a population of less than six million people, initially opened 136 venues for the purpose of legally selling marijuana.

Ontario, with more than double that population and a larger territory, is planning to offer little more than the same number. It is as if a cheese artisan set out to drive Kraft out of business by setting up a stall at the St. Lawrence market in Toronto.

At the same time Ontario would clamp down on illegal storefront dispensaries.

Under the guise of creating a state-run monopoly, the province is running the risk of creating more demand for the services of the very people it purports to drive out of business.

I have never tried marijuana. Not even in high school when everyone else seemed to be partaking in the weed experience. But that was not for lack of availability.

I cannot think of a time at any point in my adult life when I could not have easily procured a joint. That is particularly true of the period over which I was raising teenagers.

Unless they have been living on another planet, the provincial and federal politicians who are debating the upcoming legalization of marijuana must be familiar with the omnipresence and the reach of the underground market. And they must know that half-hearted measures tend to yield costly failures.

They should also be aware of how soft the price is.

These are the facts. At present, marijuana is sold is a highly protected market. Tariffs include fines, time in jail, and criminal records. I doubt if there is an agricultural product on earth that gets the prices marijuana gets -- unless it is poppies. My point is that when that tariff disappears, or to the degree that it disappears, the price will go down. You watch.

Why? Because when you have a greenhouse of marijuana going to seed, you have to sell it, and you want to sell it before it loses its punch. Next month's crop looks abundant. If the government tries to limit legal production to licensed groups, others will grow it.

(By the way, does anyone remember George Smitherman? You know, the guy behind the ORANG mess, and the Green Energy boondoggle, the openly gay politician whose 'wife' committed suicide rather than go on with him ... the guy that led people to vote for Rob Ford ... guess what he's doing now! He's on the board of a marijuana growing company!)

But the government is singularly incapable of recognizing its own mistakes. If prices drop, they will increase criminal penalties of the 'black market', and treat them like they used to treat bootleggers. There is essentially zero 'heat' on these people now, so in what sense will that be 'legalization' of anything?

What they are really doing is trying to create a state monopoly of the marijuana market, like they have already done with beer and liquor (in Ontario). And it won't be worth the effort. It's too easy to grow.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 11, 2017 8:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can't understand why we'd even need a Cannabis control board in Ontario , it seems that its only reason for existence would be so the government could get more of the revenue , not just the tax revenue but whatever profit they could make from actually selling the stuff in there stores

you have to think if they had a monopoly on the "legal sales " that could eventually amount to a fairly large amount of revenue . although there would always be a large black market even if there is legal places to buy it

it seems clear to me the marijuana people ( bob emery and cannabis culture stores ) have already clearly demonstrated they could run this industry themselves and government intervention is not needed , which is why it seems clear the people in government see it as a potential cash cow and want all the revenue for themselves , why else try and get a province wide monopoly on something that realistically should be left to so called craft industry growers and independent stores downtown

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 11, 2017 11:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

All the "problems" in implementing this so-called legalization are due to the fact that the government wants to establish monopolies in marijuana, and get a tax windfall.

None of the problems are due to the growers, sellers, and users, who are all eagerly awaiting the moment the government steps out of the way. They are developing new marijuana products, like hash-laced baked goods, for instance, and perhaps putting it in alcoholic beverages. They are getting hooked up with MasterCard, and all of that stuff.

The fact is -- this is not a 'legalization' in the sense most people understood it during the election campaign. It is the nationalization of a criminal enterprise, a government takeover justified by to some with the idea that different authorities from the police would exercise more control, not less, with monopolistic policies. They pacified part of the resistance with the promise that they would torture stoners the way they torture cigarette smokers.

And perhaps, at the same time, addressing the yawning revenue gap that Liberal free-spending habits have opened up. In other words, it's just another way of making the poor pay disproportionately for the excesses of cabinet members.

It will a price-fixing scheme backed up by the police. You watch -- there will be more enforcement on the 'black market' producers than there is now, at least in Ontario, The police will be called on to supervise the garden plots, to see who's medically licensed to grow. (It could get very intrusive if they get suspicious about your false dieffenbachia, but we are probably protected by the laziness of the police. Getting out of a cruiser seems hard when you sit in a car all shift.)

More likely, the independent producer will become like bootleggers were in the olde days. Police will hound them, to no practical effect.

None of this will work. it won't work because the LCBO is a retail organization, no longer a temperance organization. In no time, they will be featuring marijuana in their life-style magazine, directing you to the exactly right port to go with Blueberry weed.

When I was a kid, I remember sitting in the car while my dad went in to buy a fifth or rye. He had to have a license, and sign an order, so his drinking could be monitored. And he was legally required to take it directly home. In that world, bootleggers prospered. That's what I am forseeing.

But that is how much the LCBO has changed its mission since it was founded.

It defies logic that you expect a retail organization to pass up sales. As an example, the Beer Store now sells beer in handy drink-while-you-drive single bottles. (Some of them are more than a liter, and have an amped up alcohol content.) They promote beer drinking through special products, like wrap-around vinyl labels that will make a "Blue" look like a "Pepsi". So naturally, marijuana stores will want to know if they can sell single pre-rolled joints ... or perhaps bong hits in the back room ... a similar 'smoke-and-go' deal, a kind of Labatt's Ice for on-the-job tokers and high school students. How great a temptation will that be when kids in the school are already doing that?

And the government might come down hard on that idea ... for a little while. But when they do, they will increase the black market, and if they don't, they will end up promoting marijuana. You watch.

It's better the way it is.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 12, 2017 6:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ontario government monopoly on pot ripped

The Canadian Press

First posted: Monday, September 11, 2017 02:25 PM EDT | Updated: Monday, September 11, 2017 02:30 PM EDT

TORONTO - Clients and advocates of storefront dispensaries say buying marijuana exclusively from stores regulated by Ontario’s provincial government will mean fewer options for medicinal users, little progress on eliminating the black market, and worse weed.

On Friday, Ontario became the first province to announce its plan for the sale and distribution of legalized marijuana. It will be sold through the Liquor Control Board of Ontario and regulated similarly to how the province sells alcohol. Users must be over the age of 19, and are prohibited from consuming pot outside of private residences. The province will open 40 stores by next summer, when marijuana is legalized, and has said it will continue to crack down on illicit dispensaries, which will continue to be illegal.

“At first I was pretty happy that they had a plan,” says Peter Thurley, who uses marijuana to reduce his consumption of opioids, which he was prescribed to help him manage the pain from a burst bowel. “But I quickly came to realize that that the plan as it’s laid out is essentially a full government monopoly.”

Attorney General Yasir Naqvi has said the province won’t act punitively, and will not criminally charge underage users caught with small amounts of marijuana.

But Thurley says he’s suspicious of that aim, given the federal government’s announcement Friday that they will spend upward of $274 million on enforcement.

“The government is talking about a public health approach on one hand, while the reality is, this was always going to be about government enforcement,” he says.

Leu Grant, who volunteers at Canna Connoisseurs in Toronto, agrees. Closing down community dispensaries and asking users to purchase weed from the government isn’t in the interest of consumers, she says.

“I think it’s very important to think about who this is benefiting,” she says. “It’s not really for accessibility of people who are sick.”

Grant says the regulation prohibiting the public consumption of marijuana signifies that the province isn’t prioritizing medicinal users. “A person who needs their medicine, and it happens to be marijuana, why can’t they take their medicine in a park?” she says.

“I would like to ask them why we’re allowed to smoke toxic cigarettes and drink alcohol in public, but not receive medicine,” says Sonya Serafin, another volunteer at Canna Connoisseurs.

Connoisseurs dispenses marijuana only to prescription holders, and Grant says she sees people every day who benefit from the knowledge of the dispensary’s staff. Putting experienced workers out of a job and training new employees about marijuana is counterproductive, she says.

“How much does the government really know about growing?” she says. “The people who know the most about the growing, and the plant, and how to care for it, are people who have been criminalized. So now what we’re left with is people who don’t know anything, in suits, and they’re the ones who are benefiting.”

Thurley says she would like someone behind the counter who is knowledgeable about marijuana.

“It doesn’t make sense to bring in a whole host of new hires and set the system out in such a way that people who actually know about cannabis are excluded from the conversation.”

An inferior product could have significant repercussions, Grant says, because dissatisfaction with the government-sanctioned product could fuel more interest in black-market pot.

The price of pot could have similar consequences. The government hasn’t yet said how they plan to price or tax marijuana. “If they don’t make it cheap enough, then people are still going to be buying on the street,” says Serafin. “Is this really going to be helping?”

Because only 40 stores in the province will be open by next year, lack of accessibility will also be a deterrent for some users, Thurley says. If legal weed is both harder and more expensive to purchase, users are more likely to buy illegally.

“Most of (the new stores) will be in the GTA,” he says. “Imagine the kid from Huron County. Are they going to travel an hour and a half to Kitchener or London to pick up legal cannabis? Or are they going to go to the dealer that they’ve always gone to down the street?”

The government has said it will sell marijuana online to people who don’t live near major cities, but that’s still less convenient than a neighbourhood pot dealer, Thurley says.

He adds he would like to the see the government spend more money on cannabis research than on enforcement.

“There are so many opportunities here for the provincial government to do it right,” he says. “I would urge them that there’s no shame in pulling back and saying, you know what, we got this wrong.”


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 12, 2017 8:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kelly McParland: So Wynne's grand plan was unionizing your drug dealer

Wynne said pot sales will be run like liquor, via government outlets staffed by unionized employees. “I’m pretty pleased," said union boss Smokey Thomas. No kidding

Minister of Finance, Charles Sousa, centre, Attorney General, Yasir Naqvi, right, and Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, Eric Hoskins speak during a press conference where they detailed Ontario's solution for recreational marijuana sales, in Toronto on Friday, September 8, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Christopher Katsarov

Kelly McParland
Kelly McParland

September 11, 2017
9:41 AM EDT

Anyone who thought Ontario would ever allow private enterprise to get involved in operating legal marijuana outlets doesn’t know the Liberal party of Premier Kathleen Wynne very well.

Wynne announced Friday that the pot business will be run just like the liquor business, via government outlets staffed by unionized employees. “I’m pretty pleased with what the plan looks like so far,” confessed Warren (Smokey) Thomas, president of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union, who has been pushing hard to keep pot a union-operated business. “I’ve been lobbying the government for a long time on this, so I like to think we had some influence.”

Thomas is the same union boss who groused that fellow labour honchos “sold their souls to the Liberals” by campaigning for Wynne in the last election. He was sounding a lot happier after learning the Cannabis Control Board of Ontario—or whatever the new bureaucracy is called—will become an appendage of the LCBO. When it comes to retail distribution, insisted Finance Minister Charles Sousa, “the LCBO has the expertise, the experience and the insight to ensure careful control of cannabis, to help us discourage illicit market activity and see that illegal dispensaries are shut down.”

The government ignores the jobs that will be lost from private dispensaries being shut down

The decision was deemed a blow to the “dispensaries” that have popped up across the province even before marijuana becomes legal next July. Liberals maintain the 150 government-run cannabis outlets will create jobs, overlooking the jobs that will be lost when the private outlets are forcibly closed. Of course Thomas hopes that jobs on the public payroll will come equipped with LCBO-level pay and benefits, and a protected status that should make for happy employees beholden to the caring government that brought them about and the union that will be out to recruit them. As Thomas crowed on Friday: “There is no downside to today’s announcement.”

He’s right, of course … if you happen to believe only government can be trusted to do anything right, in spite of all evidence to the contrary. Wynne’s is the most left-wing government in Ontario’s history, much more so than the ill-fated NDP regime that was hustled off to history after one troubled mandate in the 1990s. The unions were apoplectic by the end of former premier Bob Rae’s time in office; in contrast, they pour both time and money into getting the Liberals re-elected time and again, no matter how many boondoggles they pile up in their wake.

Even as Wynne was revealing her pot plan, her party was suffering the embarrassment of two separate trials of senior Liberals. And on Thursday two independent offices—those of the auditor-general and the financial accountability officer—declared that the government’s budget numbers can’t be trusted. Only by fudging numbers, skirting accounting rules, and projecting unlikely growth figures could the Liberals meet the rosy forecasts they persist in releasing, they said. That will become evident eventually, but Wynne’s people intend to do their best to bamboozle voters at least until the next election is over.

It may be no coincidence the marijuana announcement coincided with less appetizing headlines

It may be no coincidence that the marijuana announcement was timed to coincide with those less appetizing headlines. It allowed the premier to pose as a defender of law and order, and a protector of the young and vulnerable, rather than the head of a government steeped in scandal and struggling against abysmal popularity ratings. As the Liberals prepare for June’s election they’re eager to demonstrate they are capable of something besides record deficits, unpopular energy policies and a cozy relationship with high-cost unions. They’ve already placated consumers with subsidized power bills, bought off teachers unions with an early and generous contract extension, and gone to war with doctors as evidence of their determination to keep spending under control. (That battle, unfortunately, may just be starting: Ottawa’s deeply unpopular plan to change tax laws affecting many doctors may only prompt them to demand much higher pay next time they’re at the provincial bargaining table.)

There is a good chance the new marijuana regime will fail to fulfill the government’s hopes for it. The planned 150 outlets have been dismissed as far too few to meet demand. The cost of running the bureaucracy may push prices to the point that black market operators continue to find plenty of business. Pot is easier to smuggle than liquor; just look at the illicit tobacco trade for proof of that.

The unions will be happy with the plan, whether it works or not

But the unions will be happy with the plan, whether it works or not. And Ontarians may secretly breathe a sigh of relief, given that many continue to harbour considerable disquiet about legalization. They may tell pollsters they approve of legalization in theory, but open a pot store across the street from their kid’s school and see how they squawk. Private “dispensaries” may gripe, but they did nothing to help their cause by opening illegal storefront operations in defiance of the law, making a mockery of police efforts to shut them down. If you want to convince the public you can be trusted to keep illegal drugs away from the young, flouting the law is not a good way to go about it.

The new government outlets won’t open until next summer, ensuring judgement can’t be passed until the election is over. That suits the Liberals to a T. Nothing consumes Wynne and her colleagues more than the drive to win one more election. Posing as protectors of public integrity and the health of the young is great campaign material, even as Liberal beancounters tally up the revenue they hope to garner from peddling pot in government stores.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 12, 2017 8:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

And lest we forget -- the drugs that really do the damage -- prescription drugs -- and whose use is skyrocketing amongst kids, aren't even being looked at. That's where the lives can be saved. Those are the drugs over which they already exercise maximum control, and they can't put a dent in usage. In fact, they want to open up free supervised injection sites and supply addicts with needles. As a means of 'controlling' opiates!

I mean, how far through the looking-glass can you go, in this age of optional genders and all?

The problem is that they pander too much. Long before the campaign, the leader of the third party made a flip comment about weed legalization, got a headline or two. It contributed to being noticed, and a 'narrative' of being post-modern. He only walked it back a bit during the campaign, and here we are ...

But then he got into power, and look at what a mess he has made of it!

And when Ontario's entirely corrupt and venal Liberal Party got its hands on that jackpot, they revealed their real nature -- they're not sharing! And it won't start until there are a bunch of George Smitherman type companies, backed by Liberal investors, in on the gravy train.

The Federal Liberal Party is incompetent and dangerous. It's only real motive is to capture the treasury so its insiders can live high. They have no real core values. or real priorities except climate nonsense, gender nonsense, and personal gain. Everything else they do is just pandering or political score-settling.

They used to be ábout something' -- they used to have a sense of priorities of the Canadian people, but they have lost that. Now they act as is bureaucratic empathy can cure actual social problems'rather than subsidize and support them.

But now, they're dangerous and incompetent.


There is a rational reason to legalize marijuana. The reason is because the ''war on drugs" policy has failed. If the police can't stop a bulky, smelly product like marijuana from getting to the public, why do we think they'll be successful with small powdery substances that only dogs can smell?

But they can't admit (1) that they demonized it in the first place; (2) that in fact it fits very comfortably with other inebriants that are legal, such as alcohol; (3) that the previous policy was a failure; (4) they have no alternative policy that will work, and (5) it isn't that bad anyway.

But what to do?

What is overlooked here is the power of the culture. But that means trusting free people to use their liberty to exercise social control on the people they interact with. In Jamaica, the local people look down on pot smokers, and that's enough. Jamaicans, generally, don't smoke anything like Canadians.

At present, the culture thinks the police are back with Reefer Madness, the 1940ies anti-marijuana movie endorsed by the FBI. They basically think it's pretty harmless, and that the police will take care of the bad guys. Which is a joke, because more likely, the hoodlums will 'take care' of the police, if you know what I mean ... wink, wink, nudge, nudge.

But it's the money that attracts the bad guys! And the reason there's so much money in it is that the police maintain such a high legal tariff around it. So, in an odd way, the war on drugs policy is fundamental to the existence of organized crime in the retailing of marijuana.

Trust me, it's true.

The lesson? The Liberals are dangerous and incompetent panderers who don't think things through. And who think they're better than Trump! It's actually hillarious. Somebody should write a musical around this circus, and call it Toronto!

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2017 9:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Finance Minister Bill Morneau talks pot bucks with provincial counterparts
By Will LeRoy — The Canadian Press — Dec 11 2017

Finance Minister Bill Morneau can expect a lot of provincial hands reaching for the federal purse strings when he sits down with his counterparts in Ottawa today.

The issue of who should get the lion’s share of revenue from legalized cannabis is expected to be a major bone of contention.

The provinces and territories say they’ll have to bear the lion’s share of the costs associated with legalization, and therefore should get most of the revenue.

The details of these discussions would be a delight to know, particularly the total amount of revenue they are anticipating. It's amazing that people like Kathleen Wynne. who don't even bother to keep count when they're spending it. will fight like a banshee when it comes to receiving it.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 1:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The laughs are only starting. You can sense the swelling in their pants, at the thought of those piles of cash. What they are doing, of course, assumes a selling price that the present level of policing has driven higher.

You will note that increased costs are the justification for the demands of both the provinces and the federal government. My bet is that the increased costs will be largely increased police budgets. Because maintaining a monopoly of an agricultural product is expensive.

Feds, provinces to square off over tax proceeds of legal pot

Andy Blatchford, The Canadian Press
Published Sunday, December 10, 2017 8:28AM EST
Last Updated Sunday, December 10, 2017 11:09PM EST

OTTAWA - A cross-country squabble over how best to divvy up the proceeds of Canada's coming legal-weed windfall is about to intensify as finance ministers gather for high-stakes talks in Ottawa.

For the provinces and territories, a key question looms: what entitles Ottawa to claim so much as half of the tax revenues that will start flowing when marijuana is legalized next summer?

The provincial and territorial governments insist they should get the lion's share of the funds because they'll shoulder most - if not all - of the costs associated with legalization.

But federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau will counter with an argument during the meetings that Ottawa has already made big financial commitments towards pot legalization, said a senior government official.

Morneau will explain that he's already earmarked more than $1 billion toward legalization over the next five years, with a focus on areas such as public safety, policing and awareness, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly.

Nearly $700 million of that commitment was outlined in Morneau's recent fall economic update.

"We've identified significant funds that we are going to put forward in that regard," Morneau said on Sunday as he headed to a working dinner with his provincial and territorial counterparts.

"We need to cover our costs - they're legitimate."

At the same time, Morneau added that it's important to consider how municipalities and provinces will cover the costs required.

Negotiations will be centred on the federal Liberal government's proposal to impose a cannabis excise tax of $1 per gram or 10 per cent of the final retail price, whichever is higher.

It's expected to bring in as much as $1 billion per year. Ottawa has long insisted its legalization plans were never about the money, but about keeping pot away from kids.

An initial federal offer of a 50-50 split with the provinces was met with equal parts disdain and incredulity.

The federal government has since said it's prepared to go further - as long as some of that extra cash goes to cities. The Federation of Canadian Municipalities wants a third of the revenues earmarked to help municipal governments handle administrative and policing costs.

Morneau reiterated Sunday that he "can be flexible," but he refused to say how much he's willing to accept.

For ministers like B.C.'s Carole James, it's unclear why Ottawa should keep any of it.

"Before we even get to talking about sharing, we want to hear about what responsibilities the federal government's taking on to justify taking any of the percentage," James said in an interview.

"Certainly, from our perspective the formula put out by the federal government is a no-go. That's very clear." [....]

Why don't they just let the dealers set up shops, and impose an age limit, like beer? They are going to figure out a way to make this so-called legalization cost them money! What better clown show is there than this?

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 14, 2017 9:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

They all want a piece of the pie ,,,

Mayor says municipality wants cost-sharing, direct input on location
By Trevor Terfloth, Chatham Daily News
Wednesday, December 13, 2017 9:00:52 EST PM

Chatham-Kent will soon be a green community in a different sense after being selected as one of the initial locations for a provincially operated cannabis retail store by July of next year.

The Finance Ministry is seeking a partnership between the newly formed Ontario Cannabis Retail Corp. and hosting communities.

Fifteen cities were announced on Wednesday, in addition to the 14 cities that were previously announced in November.

Mayor Randy Hope told Postmedia News he wants to ensure Chatham-Kent receives a fair shake during the process, along with direct input on the location of the store.

He also believes municipalities deserve financial compensation through a percentage of the sales, or some other method.

“We should be getting host fees for this,” Hope said, suggesting a model similar to the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp. slots in Dresden.

The mayor said he looks forward to meeting provincial officials concerning potential sites to ensure zoning bylaws are respected.

Chatham-Kent joins London and Windsor as the Southwestern Ontario communities slated to host a phase-one cannabis store.

In April, the federal government introduced legislation to legalize cannabis, with the Ontario government following with the Cannabis Act and the Ontario Cannabis Retail Corporation Act.

This established the Ontario Cannabis Retail Corporation as a subsidiary corporation under the Liquor Control Board of Ontario.

The retail and distribution system is proposed to include an online provincewide sales channel by July and up to 150 stand-alone stores in 2020, starting with 40 by July 2018 and rising to 80 within the first year.

This proposed system would sell cannabis and cannabis-related items only, not alcohol.

Hope admitted he has concerns about a cannabis store in the community, noting the government should also set aside money in case any social issues arise.

“We should not bear the cost,” he said. “It’s the OLG’s responsibility to provide those social programs.

“The last thing I want to do is cry wolf. . . . Hopefully people will be responsible.”

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 24, 2018 8:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

( even though there will be an Ontario pot monopoly similar to the LCBO , there not even sure if it will make money at least not in the short term , it seems like there admitting most of the pot sales will still be thru the black market and that there stores will only be minor players for the time being )

Ontario to be 'under water' on pot revenue for spring budget: finance minister

Costs to limit illicit market, set-up expenses will likely lower ability to turn profit in short term: Sousa

By Shawn Jeffords, The Canadian Press Posted: Jan 24, 2018 6:35 PM ET| Last Updated: Jan 24, 2018 6:35 PM ET

Finance Minister Charles Sousa says the cost to set up the stores and a distribution system, crack down on the illicit market and the need to keep prices for the product low will likely limit the province's ability to make money on legal weed in the near future.

Recreational marijuana isn't expected to turn a profit for the Ontario government this year, the province's finance minister said Wednesday, noting that there would be no projections for pot revenues or profits in the upcoming spring budget.

Ontario is working on opening standalone stores to sell recreational marijuana once the drug is legalized this summer.

Finance Minister Charles Sousa said the cost to set up the stores and a distribution system, crack down on the illicit market and the need to keep prices for the product low will likely limit the province's ability to make money on legal weed in the near future.

"I don't foresee having a net revenue from this," he said. "I have not put forward any projections in terms of what the revenues will be or the dividends will be from cannabis retailing in the coming years. I want to first see how it evolves and be more determined in terms of what that revenue will look like."

In December, the federal government agreed to give the provinces and territories a 75 per cent share of tax revenues from the sale of legalized marijuana. Sousa said the excise tax will be used to offset the start-up costs for the province's retail stores and other activities around legalization.

"That won't be enough to cover out outlays and our expenses," he said of the tax revenue. "We're still going to be under water."

The government will know better two years after legalization if recreational cannabis sales can be a money maker for the province, Sousa said.

Sousa acknowledged there is a range of opinion on the prospects of profits from recreational marijuana sales, including some critics of the government's approach who suggest pot sales will be lucrative. Until the government knows what the market is like in Ontario the province must take a wait-and-see approach, he said.

"We know that LCBO and our gaming and some other agencies that we have are huge contributors to our dividends," he said. "We'll see if cannabis retail will be the same way. We're playing it safe."

Under rules outlined in the fall, the province intends to sell marijuana in up to 150 stores run by the Liquor Control Board of Ontario to people 19 and older, with a ban on pot's consumption in public spaces or workplaces.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 24, 2018 9:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

( it seems that Ontario is going all in on the Pot craze , even considering allowing Cannabis lounges , truly bizarre considering this is the same government that banned smoking in all bars and restaurants , even on patio's or near them its illegal. I can't believe they'd consider allowing lounges for cannabis use when they went all out to ban cigarette smoking so aggressively for so many years here )

Ontario asking for public feedback on allowing cannabis lounges

Current rules that intend to restrict consumption of pot to private residences will push people who can’t use cannabis in their own homes to places where it would create a problem, like public parks or their cars, says the owner of Hotbox Cafe, a private Toronto cannabis lounge.

Ontario is considering the possibility of permitting “licensed and regulated cannabis consumption lounges and venues” sometime after legalization in July.

By Shawn JeffordsThe Canadian Press

Mon., Jan. 22, 2018

Ontario is considering allowing licensed cannabis consumption lounges in the province once recreational marijuana is legalized this summer, and is asking the public to weigh in on the idea.

The proposal is being met with optimism by some cannabis activists and municipal politicians who say the provincial government’s approach on where legal weed can be consumed has been too restrictive so far.

Under rules outlined in the fall, the province intends to sell marijuana in up to 150 stores run by the Liquor Control Board of Ontario to people 19 and older, with a ban on pot’s consumption in public spaces or workplaces.

On Thursday, the province issued a request for public feedback on a slew of regulatory changes proposed to clarify where recreational and medical cannabis can be consumed. Among them is the possibility of permitting “licensed and regulated cannabis consumption lounges and venues” sometime after legalization in July.

That’s exactly what Abi Roach, the owner of Hotbox Cafe, a private Toronto cannabis lounge open since 2003, said she’s been asking the province to do for six years.

Roach appeared before a legislative committee examining the provincial government’s pot laws in November and at the time urged politicians to ease their rules around where the drug could be consumed. She said she wanted the government to shift from what she sees as building policy based on “90 years of prohibitionist mentality” to something that is “functional and realistic to the needs of the consumer.”

Current rules that intend to restrict consumption of marijuana to private residences will push people who can’t use cannabis in their own homes to places where it would create a problem, like public parks or their cars, Roach argued.

“In an urban setting you have to take into consideration your neighbours,” she said. “Maybe your neighbour has children. Maybe they’re not really into it. Maybe your neighbour has respiratory issues. There’s no real consideration there for your community.”

Roach said private cannabis lounges like Hotbox, which is among seven such establishments in Toronto, see thousands of customers a month and check IDs to make sure all customers are over the age of 19. The lounges do not sell marijuana but may offer equipment for customers as they consume in a communal setting.

Roach said a major part of the government move to legalize cannabis is to cut down on criminal activity. Including private businesses, like lounge owners, in that regulatory environment will help achieve that goal, she said.

“People who are in the cannabis business do not want to be criminals,” she said. “Cannabis consumers don’t want to do business with criminals. In reality, we all want to be licensed.”

Roach also said that the government should not attempt to open its own government-run cannabis lounges, like it intends to do with standalone pot shops.

“Do you want to hang out at Kathleen Wynne’s lounge?” she asked. “There has to be a level of innovation in this industry. There has to be a level of privatization.”

Toronto councillor Jim Karygiannis, who sits on the city’s licensing and standards committee, said the province should step in with clear regulations that would lead to better controls on where the lounges are established, ensure patrons are of legal age to consume cannabis and protect lounge employee safety.

The province should also require lounges to have appropriate set-backs from school zones, he said.

“A private lounge is a wonderful alternative as long as it’s legislated and regulated,” he said. “The municipality should have some form of ... oversight. If they’re not regulated it will be the wild, wild west.”

Andrew Rudyk, spokesman for Ontario Attorney General Yasir Naqvi, said the province is taking a cautious approach to the federal legalization of cannabis.

“There are no immediate plans to make ... these changes as we are just taking this opportunity to get early feedback on possible next steps after legalization,” he said in a statement. “We will continue to consult on the decisions still to come.”

The province is accepting feedback on its proposals until March 5. Comments can be submitted through the Ontario Regulatory Registry website


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 25, 2018 11:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Remember when this started, one of the benefits that Justin the Unbelievable proclaimed was that the legalization would allow different approaches to be used to limit the use of marijuana. It would be more successful in weaning the children off pot. It was a step towards marijuana temperance.

Now they're talking about marijuana lounges, just like bars.

This is probably closer to the truth. These governments' spending has outrun their revenues. The monster is hungry for cash. It is, as a result, cartelizing a former criminal enterprise, hoping to rake off a percentage, as well as the extra bit for sales taxes and GST. To make it work, it will likely take a lot of police power to prevent marijuana boot-leggers from entering the business. It is NOT legalization, it's cartelization.

And, in the meantime, they do nothing to even acknowledge the opioid crisis ...
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A Marijuana Control Board for Ontario?

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