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OCS considers abandoning cannabis wholesale

September 30, 2019

According to BNN Bloomberg, the Ontario Government is quietly considering getting out of the cannabis wholesaling business, which may dramatically change the way recreational cannabis is sold in the province.

The move would likely mean consumers face lower prices on cannabis than what they are currently paying.

Ontario’s pricing on products on its consumer-facing recreational cannabis website, OCS.ca, is generally more expensive than in provinces like British Columbia and Quebec.

Ontario’s average price per gram of recreational cannabis is higher than the national average, and this move away from wholesale could bring its pricing more in line with other provinces.

It’s not clear if the move will also mean a consumer-facing online recreational cannabis experience similar to the one implemented in Newfoundland.

In that province, while residents browse for and purchase products on an official government-run website, the actual product is sent directly from the licensed producers themselves, and shipping times vary.

One potential downside, if Ontario went the way of Newfoundland and Labrador, could be those variable shipping times due to the different shipping practices of licensed producers of cannabis in the country.

Daffyd Roderick, a spokesperson with the Ontario Cannabis Store, declined to comment to BNN but did provide an emailed statement:

“OCS is in constant communications with licensed producers and industry partners to ensure that distribution capacity is in place as the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario issues new retail store authorizations,” Roderick said.

“OCS continuously considers how to improve operations and services in order to effectively serve Ontarians while supporting the government’s commitment to combating the illegal market and protecting children and youth.”

The change is not expected to impact access to medical cannabis, which is currently accomplished through separate provisions under the federal Cannabis Regulations.

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Harrison Jordan

Harrison Jordan is a graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto and enjoys reading and writing about the regulatory affairs of cannabis in Canada and around the world.

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