AM800 – Gord Bacon – Sept 9 2017
A local marijuana advocate and store owner isn’t completely onboard with the province’s sales pitch.
The provincial government has announced sales plans with 10 months left before recreational marijuana is legalized in Canada.
Owner of Windsor’s Higher Limits Lounge for medical marijuana, Jon Liedtke, doesn’t think new model will be able to keep up with demand.
“I think it’s woefully inadequate system of distribution, I believe they have no grasp on what the demand is going to be,” says Liedtke. “I’m looking at the numbers at Windsor-Essex on roll-out, I think we can maybe expect to have one or two of these cannabis stores here which is not going to meet the demand.”
Liedtke says the government isn’t accounting for the cross-border draw of pot legalization —19 – 20-year-old Americans, will have another reason other than drinking to make the trip to Windsor.
“They’ll also be able to now come here and purchase cannabis legally, and drink legally,” says Liedtke. “We’re going to be seeing a huge influx of people like we haven’t seen since the early ’90s.”
Liedtke says he’s not letting go of the idea of private stores being able to purchase a sales licence sometime in the future.
“This is just step one, they’re removing it from the criminal aspect and it’s being brought into the legal sphere,” says Liedtke. “That’s a very big positive, it’s not what we wanted to see as a first step, but neither have been any of the successes through the medical regimes we’ve seen.”
As many as 150 stores run by the LCBO will be selling marijuana once it’s legalized for recreational use next summer.