How to Combat a Government-Controlled Cannabis Monopoly

In early September, Ontario was the first of the Canadian provinces to announce its plans for a marijuana retail framework. To the chagrin of the unlicensed cannabis community, the government decided that a provincially-controlled system would be the best option.

Since that announcement, many participants in the Canadian marijuana industry have asked if there’s anything that can be done to allow for a private retail sector in Canada’s largest province.

Toronto Member of City Council Jim Karygiannis has been the most vocal supporter within government for a privately-owned dispensary retail option. He has also been highly critical of law enforcement, who are working to shut down unlicensed dispensaries at all costs.

“The City of Toronto is the largest municipality in Canada and should have taken the lead [on dispensary regulation]. We failed to listen to community stakeholders,” said Karygiannis in an interview with “We should have engaged the community, the medical marijuana users, the recreational users, and the dispensary [owners].”

Karygiannis added that the proper way to have gone about the process would have been to speak to the…

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