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Ontario Cannabis Store (OCS)

Filip

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Ya.. case studies will be made on how botched this rollout is.

First.. price.. $10/g is far too much. Way out of line from street prices. Maybe if you're buying a g you'll get charged $10, but anything more comes with volume discounts. I don't think the government realizes how sophisticated the current distribution system is. Dealers are running a business.

Second.. Locations.. 40 locations in the whole province? I'll be honest in saying most people won't give a hoot about the legal method in purchasing if the closest store is more than a 10 min drive away. Most dealers deliver too, for free at that.

Third.. format.. The government had the opportunity to legalize dispensaries in the same vein BC and Quebec are doing. These are stores staffed by people who care and are passionate about the product. They know their stuff. I somehow doubt public servants will be well versed in the product (should they be??).

If the whole point of legalizing cannabis was to eradicate the black market, this just ensures its survival.
 

Skeezix

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[...] If the whole point of legalizing cannabis was to eradicate the black market, this just ensures its survival.
One of stated main goals of the federal government is to eradicate the black market, and it appears to be an honestly held objective. Despite some lip service, I'm not convinced it's a particularly important objective of the provincial government. The province, which actually has to implement legalization, seems more concerned with cost and not making waves.
 

Filip

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One of stated main goals of the federal government is to eradicate the black market, and it appears to be an honestly held objective. Despite some lip service, I'm not convinced it's a particularly important objective of the provincial government. The province, which actually has to implement legalization, seems more concerned with cost and not making waves.
I don't understand why this province in particular has to be the fun police.

Alcohol distribution is so broken that it can't be fixed, and this seems like it's heading in the exact same direction. You'd think that it being 2018 and that they have a greenfield opportunity to come up with something that works (in consultation with its peers BC, QC, etc) they'd finally get it right. But no, think of the children (and the black market you continue supporting!)
 

AlvinofDiaspar

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I don't understand why this province in particular has to be the fun police.

Alcohol distribution is so broken that it can't be fixed, and this seems like it's heading in the exact same direction. You'd think that it being 2018 and that they have a greenfield opportunity to come up with something that works (in consultation with its peers BC, QC, etc) they'd finally get it right. But no, think of the children (and the black market you continue supporting!)
Because I think that's what the majority of the population in Ontario is comfortable with. It's bit of a balance to want to legalize without looking too eager for it. (recall the whole sex ed kerfuffle as well - the dynamic is similar). Hence this - though at some point I can see pharmacies and "gourmet weed" outlets as well.

Honestly, if it is going to be a monopoly. they should run it like one - almost below production cost prices, free mail/online orders, etc. - run the competition into the ground.

AoD
 

Skeezix

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I don't understand why this province in particular has to be the fun police.

Alcohol distribution is so broken that it can't be fixed, and this seems like it's heading in the exact same direction. You'd think that it being 2018 and that they have a greenfield opportunity to come up with something that works (in consultation with its peers BC, QC, etc) they'd finally get it right. But no, think of the children (and the black market you continue supporting!)
Same reason they were so timid with beer and wine sales in grocery stores. Lots of stakeholders to keep happy, and potentially large downside for Queen's Park if it goes wrong.

The polls are a bit of a dog's breakfast, with results varying depending on how questions are asked, but as best as I can tell it appears that a majority in this province support cannabis legalization, but that support is not deep and could plummet if people get nervous about implementation. Polls seem to show that most people support private sales, yet nonetheless also support sales through the LCBO. I have no doubt that Queen's Park has done its own polling, and has determined that most Ontarians are comfortable with this LCBO model. If you are a parent of small kids in Markham, haven't smoked weed in 15+ years since school, and your only real stake in this issue is that legalization not make it easier for your kids to get their hands on the stuff when they are teens, then this OCS seems (superficially at least, which is how most people think about it) like a safe, familiar option.

"Safe and familiar" is the political objective on this file.

ETA: I should add - if they allow licensed private dispensaries to sell pot, then how does Queen's Park continue to justify micromanaging beer and wine sales in Ontario? It would seem odd if I could open a cannabis store on the Danforth, but my chances of opening a wine shop on the Danforth were nil. It all leads to the same point - when dealing with beer, wine and cannabis, the best interests of consumers have not been the primary objective of this provincial government.
 
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Filip

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Same reason they were so timid with beer and wine sales in grocery stores. Lots of stakeholders to keep happy, and potentially large downside for Queen's Park if it goes wrong.

The polls are a bit of a dog's breakfast, with results varying depending on how questions are asked, but as best as I can tell it appears that a majority in this province support cannabis legalization, but that support is not deep and could plummet if people get nervous about implementation. Polls seem to show that most people support private sales, yet nonetheless also support sales through the LCBO. I have no doubt that Queen's Park has done its own polling, and has determined that most Ontarians are comfortable with this LCBO model. If you are a parent of small kids in Markham, haven't smoked weed in 15+ years since school, and your only real stake in this issue is that legalization not make it easier for your kids to get their hands on the stuff when they are teens, then this OCS seems (superficially at least, which is how most people think about it) like a safe, familiar option.

"Safe and familiar" is the political objective on this file.
Is this any different than the winds in BC or QC?

Not sure why Ontario has to always be the most restrictive one. And those kids are going to have easy access through dealers as they do today. That market isn't going to go away (certainly not under this model/pricing).
 

AlvinofDiaspar

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Is this any different than the winds in BC or QC?

Not sure why Ontario has to always be the most restrictive one. And those kids are going to have easy access through dealers as they do today. That market isn't going to go away (certainly not under this model/pricing).
Actually I do think the politics of weed is fundamentally different in different provinces:

https://www.ipsos.com/en-ca/news-polls/majority-61-canadians-support-legalization-recreational-marijuana-use-only-half-49-support-ability
http://montrealgazette.com/news/national/quebecers-break-ranks-with-canada-and-oppose-legal-weed-poll

AoD
 

narduch

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how do the store hours suck?

my local LCBO is open 9:30 a.m. to 10 pm 6 days a week and 11 to 6 on the 7th.........seems there is ample time in there to buy booze.
Those hours are decent. But why can't they be better? Why do we have to make everything to difficult for no real reason.

If you are going to sell alcohol in grocery stores you should allow them to sell the alcohol during store hours.

I'm tired of being treated like children by our government.
 

AlvinofDiaspar

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Also, doing it as a provincial monopoly has a side (but not necessarily fair) political benefit - it allow the government to yank stores from communities that do not take a liking to having a pot shop around. Private distribution would not allow for that kind of possibility.

AoD
 

Filip

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Those hours are decent. But why can't they be better? Why do we have to make everything to difficult for no real reason.

If you are going to sell alcohol in grocery stores you should allow them to sell the alcohol during store hours.

I'm tired of being treated like children by our government.
This is what it comes down to. Let people make responsible decisions on their own. I hate how the LCBO/Beer Store monopoly is always distilled down to: "well our staff ensures responsible drinking". FFS.. If convenience stores can handle selling cigarettes to the over 19 crowd, I don't understand why responsible drinking can't be something they're tasked with as well. Or responsible smoking up in this case.. Frustrating.
 

Skeezix

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Actually I do think the politics of weed is fundamentally different in different provinces:
Also, doing it as a provincial monopoly has a side (but not necessarily fair) political benefit - it allow the government to yank stores from communities that do not take a liking to having a pot shop around. Private distribution would not allow for that kind of possibility.
Agreed.

Back in the day, the Harris government backed off initial plans to sell off the LCBO because of a backlash from party members in some rural and suburban areas. For the same reason, they almost didn't allow the LCBO and Beer Store to open Sundays (even then, they provided for a municipal opt-out clause for areas which didn't want Sunday booze). There were clearly parts of the province that still valued the "Control" aspect of the LCBO's name.

Things haven't changed all that much from the 1990s. Today, there are municipalities like East Gwillimbury and Richmond Hill which want nothing to do with cannabis stores.

We shouldn't assume that all Ontarians would welcome looser rules for cannabis, beer and wine sales. In some places (notably some ridings which will be up for grabs in June), people are likely very wary of legal pot.
 

Skeezix

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This is what it comes down to. Let people make responsible decisions on their own. I hate how the LCBO/Beer Store monopoly is always distilled down to: "well our staff ensures responsible drinking". FFS.. If convenience stores can handle selling cigarettes to the over 19 crowd, I don't understand why responsible drinking can't be something they're tasked with as well. Or responsible smoking up in this case.. Frustrating.
I'm not sure how I feel about hard liquor sales (vodka, whisky, etc.), which seems like an inherently different product, and shouldn't necessarily be treated the same as cigarettes or mayonnaise. But I don't see any reason why I shouldn't be able to pick up a bottle of wine anytime Loblaws (for example) is still open, even if the LCBO down the street is closed.
 

Filip

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Agreed.

Back in the day, the Harris government backed off initial plans to sell off the LCBO because of a backlash from party members in some rural and suburban areas. For the same reason, they almost didn't allow the LCBO and Beer Store to open Sundays (even then, they provided for a municipal opt-out clause for areas which didn't want Sunday booze). There were clearly parts of the province that still valued the "Control" aspect of the LCBO's name.

Things haven't changed all that much from the 1990s. Today, there are municipalities like East Gwillimbury and Richmond Hill which want nothing to do with cannabis stores.

We shouldn't assume that all Ontarians would welcome looser rules for cannabis, beer and wine sales. In some places (notably some ridings which will be up for grabs in June), people are likely very wary of legal pot.
Can't municipalities zone where these stores can operate? That's the approach Vancouver is taking, and I believe Montreal.

Even though QC is more against legal weed than ON, they sure seem to be liberalizing its sales.
 

TOareaFan

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Those hours are decent. But why can't they be better? Why do we have to make everything to difficult for no real reason
I guess we have a fundamental difference of opinion about it being "difficult"...with 12+ hours a day 6 days a week and 7 hours on the 7th day....I don't find it particularly difficult to buy alcohol.

I have no idea (nor do I care) what the hours at #ONpot will be.......but I just don't find the hours of the LCBO lacking.
 

narduch

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I guess we have a fundamental difference of opinion about it being "difficult"...with 12+ hours a day 6 days a week and 7 hours on the 7th day....I don't find it particularly difficult to buy alcohol.

I have no idea (nor do I care) what the hours at #ONpot will be.......but I just don't find the hours of the LCBO lacking.
But why can't we improve things? My closest LCBO is only open until 9pm. The grocery store that I can walk to that sells beer is open until 10pm but has to cut off its beer sales earlier. Is that fair that yours is open longer? Why is it necessary to have this much control on the system.

Just because it works for you doesn't make it right.
 
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