As Ontario continues to explore how the cannabis retail system can limit the black market and increase accessibility for consumers, the fall economic statement highlights new approaches, which include increasing the number of legal cannabis stores and expanding the methods of sale.
The Ontario government had initially set a cap on the number of legal cannabis stores to 25, but this fall will increase the number to 75. In addition to standalone stores, new proposed legislation could allow licensed producers to build retail stores into each of their production sites. This could create the opportunity for a tourism industry around cannabis, similar to the experience of visiting a brewery with on-site selling.
The other significant change in proposed legislation is the ability for retail stores to sell products online or over the phone for in-store pick up.
These changes, if approved, further the government’s commitment to enhance access to legal cannabis.
Canadian Mental Health Association, Ontario Division has advocated for a harm reduction approach with cannabis-related revenue to be used to support mental health and addictions services. Read more on CMHA Ontario’s submission on legalization and regulation.
CMHA Ontario also created a resource to support employers in updating their policies in the wake of cannabis legalization. Impairment in the workplace: what your organization needs to know outlines the rights of employers and employees, approaches to responding to impairment in the workplace, and information on how to develop comprehensive and non-stigmatizing policies and accommodations.