Ontario expected to announce the private sale of cannabis on July 31

Cannabis activist and lawyer Jack Lloyd, outside Toronto Old City Hall. Image: Marc Emery

By Greg Holden

It looks as if Ontario is changing course when it comes to the legalization of cannabis on October 17. Instead of the province holding a monopoly on retail sales, it appears that Doug Ford is preparing to introduce legislation that will allow private companies to sell it as well.

Jack Lloyd from Toronto, a prominent cannabis activist and lawyer, said “We are doing it” when asked about the private sales of cannabis. In an interview with CKReview News, Lloyd said he cannot reveal his sources, but says he has heard from people who work within the Ministry of the Attorney General that an official announcement is coming on July 31.

Lloyd, who has defended people from over 400 charges involving cannabis dispensaries and has been involved in cannabis activism for more than 10 years, sounded upbeat at the prospect. He said, “What we have been arguing (the right for private companies like dispensaries to sell cannabis) was right all along. We won.”

It is expected that the Ontario government will retain it’s online monopoly for sales and commercial growers will still be federally regulated. Retailers likely will need to purchase a special licence. The change would allow cannabis dispensaries to operate legally.

Rick Nicholls, the MPP for Chatham-Kent-Leamington, has expressed his concern on social media about the legalization of cannabis. He once quoted Margaret Trudeau saying it should not be legal. If Doug Ford moves in this direction, we may see a split within PC ranks on the matter. If the Tories do move to make cannabis sales permissible by private companies then it will be gut check time for Nicholls. Does he fall into line under the party banner or does he stand up for what he believes in? It says here Nicholls doesn’t have the spine to stand up to Doug Ford or his own party. We may get to find out next Tuesday.

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