Ever since legalization, Ontario can't seem to find a way to make money off of cannabis with a reliable system. Ontario's pot lottery system hasn't gone according to plan, and now the government is backtracking on that strategy. Now, they are moving towards an open allocation system where business owners can simply apply online to open up shop.
The new stores would have to go through background checks to be approved, according to BNN Bloomberg. This could all be a reality by as early as January 2020.
The province is hoping to see up to 1,000 brick-and-mortar shops set up by the end of 2020 in hopes of overtaking the black market, which is still thriving.
"It's been an interesting time because everyone is kind of blazing a new trail and we're going to get it down pat," Ford told CP24.
There are currently only 25 legal dispensaries in the entire province, a number way under what the government was initially expecting.
The lack of stores following legalization was due to a shortage of supply earlier this year. Problems with the way that Ontario's cannabis producers were growing their weed led to less legal weed being available on the market.
However, now the government is attempting to allow more Ontario weed shops to open throughout the province in 2020 to combat the initial problems that the province was facing.
Yet, others such as the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU), think that cannabis should be in the hands of public retailers, such as the LCBO.
The OPSEU reason that the LCBO already knows how to sell a controlled substance and that taking on cannabis would be easier for them than for private businesses.
"What will it take for the government to understand that cannabis retail stores need to be operated by trained professionals?" said OPSEU President Warren Thomas in a news release.
"I can't figure out why the Conservatives think it makes sense to continue on with this privatization disaster," said Thomas.
No decisions on this new plan have been finalized yet, according to BNN Bloomberg.
Proposals are still being put forward for Ontario's cabinet to approve, but we will likely know the results in the coming weeks.