The green rush is on while Ontario is busy reinventing the wheel. Alberta has 400 Cannabis stores while Ontario loses $42 million setting up a website and making stickers.
A short drive down the road you can purchase cannabis in creams, soaps, gels and bath bombs. They sell cookies, chocolate, candy and tea. The CBD oil is priced competitively in a range of different products and strengths. You can purchase a plant if you like gardening. They have a points card. Mondays and Wednesdays are senior discount days. The store collects cans of food for the community and offer discounts for donations. The store is heated with solar panels. They have fish and chips right on site with umbrella picnic tables to enjoy a nice lunch. People come from all over to explore the novelty of a pot shop while product experts happily answer questions to help you choose the right product. Customers are lined up out the door almost every day. The longer hours on Fridays and Saturdays accommodate commuters. A recently paved parking lot and lounge furniture signals prosperity. They have a big happy welcome sign out front, “Open for Business” and they have been since pot was legalized 16 months ago.
Meanwhile back at the wheel house Ontario cripples the entrepreneurial spirit with layers upon layers of bureaucratic nonsense as small businesses are left dealing with restrictive procedures and elaborate schemes dictated by public sector hacks who, as my Dad used to say, couldn’t sell steak to hungry millionaires.
Legalized cannabis has the potential to disrupt the alcohol, pharmaceutical and tobacco industries worldwide and timing is critical for market viability. If Ontario conservatives want to support communities and small businesses, they will need to play catch up or stay closed for business. Several Toronto municipalities voted to ban cannabis stores but just recently gave a thumbs up. Maybe that will get the Doug Ford businessman rolling again.
Am I the Only One?