Doug Ford wants consultations on cannabis sales in Ontario

Doug Ford loves subways so much he's vowing to build them to Pickering, Markham

The federal government announced this week Canadians will be able to legally purchase recreational marijuana starting October 17.

But exactly how marijuana will be sold in Ontario now lends itself to more questions than answers.

Recreational pot is set to be sold in Ontario only through a new Crown agency called the Ontario Cannabis Retail Corp., an arm of the province's LCBO liquor stores.

Now that Progressive Conservative Doug Ford is about to take the reigns, it seems he is leaving the door open to change. How dramatically he will change course, if he chooses to, is the key question.

Ford, who has committed to building three-stop subway to Scarborough, as well as the downtown relief line - projects that both come with multi-billion dollar price tags - then suggested the PCs subway dreams stretch beyond Toronto's borders.

During CityNews' election debate in May, Ford picked a fight with Kathleen Wynne over marijuana, but didn't specifically mention how it should be sold.

"I'll keep the kids safe and I won't tolerate any impaired driving with anyone smoking marijuana", he said at the time. "This (legalization) is a path we've never gone down before, any of us". "We're going to tread carefully on this and we're going to consult with the local municipalities and we're going to make a decision after we talk to caucus". However, PC spokesperson Simon Jefferies said "Doug Ford wants to build a state of the art transit system across the GTA, which includes looking at all options for extending transit lines to regions outside of Toronto".

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Ford's office did not immediately respond Wednesday when asked about the fate of other initiatives funded through cap and trade.

"We are now in the midst of a transition process, and we will have more to say once we form government", he said.

The outgoing Liberals had planned to roll out 150 standalone pot stores run by the Liquor Control Board of Ontario by the end of 2020.

Despite his show of support for the LCBO, Mr. Ford criticized the monopoly's decision to locate a cannabis store about 450 metres from a school in the Toronto suburb of Scarborough.

"With this file I don't think anything is simple, it's really complex, but having said that I think people do know that this has been coming, I think there's public officials, civil servants, people at the (Ontario Cannabis Store) that have been working on this for a while", Vrana said.

There was no response at the time of publishing.

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