As part of the 2019 Ontario Economic Outlook and Fiscal Review, Ontario’s Conservative Ford government announced its plan to make three updates to cannabis retail rules. (It did not release draft regulations or a timeline.)
Financial Post, Twitter—Trina Fraser
- Ontario will not give up its monopoly on delivery, but will allow retailers to offer “click-and-collect” service by phone or online, so customers can see inventory levels and reserve stock in individual REC stores for pickup.
Globe and Mail
- LPs will be allowed to open farm-gate REC retail stores at each of their production sites (a plan the Ford government originally announced in October 2018).
MJ Biz Daily
- The Ontario Cannabis Store is continuing talks with LPs and REC retailers about privatizing REC wholesale.
The Cannabis Council of Canada hailed the moves as “a strong signal to the legal cannabis industry in Ontario” (while also demanding the government announce a REC retail expansion timeline).
- Lawyer Trina Fraser called for full retailer delivery. (In April, the province canceled a REC delivery tender.)
Twitter—Trina Fraser, Globe and Mail
- In a damning assessment, MJ Biz Daily‘s Matt Lamers said, “Click-&-collect? Who cares when you only have 24 stores open. A sideshow. Ontario could barely fill 1/2 a page of the nearly 200 page ‘economic plan’ on one of the fastest growing industries in Canada.”
- Global Public Affairs cannabis analyst Roderick C. Elliot predicted it would be another 18 to 36 months “before we start to see retail approved and built in Ontario.”
Twitter—Roderick C. Elliot
The Ontario government predicted the OCS would turn a $10M profit in fiscal 2019-20, followed by $75M in 2020-21, and $80M in 2021-22.
- The Cannalysts estimated Ontario’s glacial REC retail rollout has cost the province $325M in economic revenue, $26M in provincial sales tax, and $25M in excise tax since legalization.