If you’re a fan of purchasing cannabis AND the nanny state, have we got some good news for you: Windsor made the shortlist for a standalone provincial cannabis store.
That’s right, next year you’re going to be able to venture into a Kathleen Wynne approved cannabis store staffed by public sector employees to purchase your legal cannabis. The province announced the news via their slick & fancy new website www.lcbocannabisupdates.com.
Windsor was one of 14 municipalities identified for a standalone cannabis store; also making the shortlist are Barrie, Brampton, Hamilton, Kingston, Kitchener, London, Mississauga, Ottawa, Sault Ste. Marie, Sudbury, Thunder Bay, Toronto, and Vaughan.
How many stores will each city receive? That’s anyone’s guess! What we know is there will be 40 stores rolled out in 2018, 80 by 2019, and 150 total cannabis stores at the end of 2020. The province has announced that there will be additional cities named by July 2018 that will receive stores as well.
To add some context, cannabis consumption in Canada is roughly 30% & Ontario has about 14 million residents, which translates to 4 million cannabis consumers. At 40 initial stores, that’s one store for every 100,000 cannabis consumers.
It’s fair to say that these stores will be pretty busy and filled with eager Ontarians who currently don’t have access to a dealer or dispensary; that is, until the stores sell out of product.
Currently medical cannabis patients deal with an inconsistent level of supply from the federally licensed cannabis producers, known as LPs, which have the ability to sell their product domestically to medical users via online sales. LPs also have the ability to export cannabis to other countries where they can fetch a higher price per gram, which is where the supply issue comes from.
But let’s put aside supply issues and look at demand in Windsor & Essex County. If Windsor is the only store this side of London to receive a cannabis store, that means all county residents will have to drive to Windsor to purchase legal cannabis. Local demand will more than likely exceed supply, and the issue is compounded when you take into consideration cannabis tourism.
Within a four hour drive you can reach the vast majority of residents of Michigan, Ohio, Illinois and Indiana, a combined population of 50 million, and cannabis consumption in America is roughly 15 per cent, which equates to roughly 7.5 million potential cannabis users. If ONE per cent of them decide to come to Windsor to purchase legal Canadian cannabis, that represents 75,000 people jumping on the cannatourism train straight to Windsor.
Premier Wynne’s Liberal government is rolling out her cannabis plan according to schedule and we get to sit back and watch a controlled takeover of the cannabis sphere by the province.
As for the opposition parties, the PCs spent 16 months consulting Ontarians developing their recommended policies for the party platform and opted not to include a single reference to cannabis or legalization, and their leader Patrick Brown only seems capable of complaining about Wynne, rather than offering policies on the matter. The Ontario NDP similarly haven’t offered their own suggestions regarding cannabis legalization either, however Horwath has commented numerous times about how Wynne’s proposal is misguided.
It seems to me both opposition parties secretly prefer government monopolization of cannabis because it derives maximum revenue, but they’re afraid to say so outright.
So, we know Windsor will get a store, and we know that the closest store will be London, and that’s about it for now. My bet is the total supply will sell out within the first day of operations.
What a time to be alive….