Cannabis will become recreational in Canada on October 17th; however, like Alcohol sales in Canada, each province has taken a different approach. Leaving many to wonder what will recreational cannabis look like for Ontarians?

Kathleen Wynne’s premiership had set up stores that would function like the LCBO. The chain was to be called “Ontario Cannabis Stores” ‘OCS’ for short. However, a dramatic shift occurred when the liberals lost and a conservative candidate, Doug Ford, won.

Doug Ford took a very different approach and has given up Ontario’s monopoly on cannabis. Instead, he is allowing private stores to open—which are set to be open by April 1st, 2019.

The Liberal government had already locked in leases, logo design, web production, and more for their OCS outlets. Ford is utilizing the e-commerce platform that the liberals had created until his private retail system is ready for business.

So what does this mean for Ontarians?

For the first few months, recreational buyers will only be able to purchase cannabis online. The OCS website will be the only legal outlet for recreational users in Ontario.

There are many varying opinions on the matter, but there are a few things that we are wary about:

1. Education

The most significant issue is how the customer will be educated and informed on their buying purchases. There are many reasons why someone would choose to purchase cannabis, and there are also lots of different strains of cannabis. The problem is that not all cannabis is effective for specific needs. One example is sleep, if someone is looking to purchase cannabis as an alternative to sleeping pills. In this example, not all cannabis can help with sleep. Sativa, for instance, is uplifting and can actually keep you awake.

2. Purchasing Decisions

Cannabis has been heavily restricted by way of advertising and marketing. A few brands have walked the line with illegal advertising giving them a competitive edge. A store associate could make recommendations to customers walking in based on their particular needs. Removing the human component to influence purchasing makes the endeavor extremely intimidating to those who are new to cannabis or not properly educated.

3. Rec vs. Medical

Many have heard about the medical benefits of cannabis and might have been hesitant to try cannabis until now. The OCS stores have placed limitations on many things like THC amounts available for purchase. Some ailments require higher doses, larger amounts, and different strains. Someone with Chron’s who has heard about the potential benefits of medical cannabis might turn to the OCS site as a way to try cannabis the first time as an alternative to medicine. The problem is that they might not get the proper strain, THC amount, or product to help ease their ailment. By doing this, they might not experience relief at all and write off cannabis when it could be something that dramatically improves their quality of life.

Cannabis is a niche product as it can be both a medicine and an alternative for leisure substances. There are a lot of mixed messages about cannabis and conflicting information that is leaving a lot of people overwhelmed and confused. Education is something that should be strongly enforced with the upcoming legalization date. If you have any questions or want a great resource to access or download information go to www.medmc.ca or contact associates@medmc.ca or 1 (844) 312-5143

If you run into any issues and need some legal assistance contact us! (519) 902-7487 or info@millarslaw.com