Ontarians looking to score some legal marijuana after the recreational use of the drug is blessed by Ottawa will be heading to their nearest government-run Ontario Cannabis Store.
The Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO), which is overseeing the sale and distribution of recreational cannabis in Ontario, unveiled the brand and its plain, black-and-white logo on its website Friday. The Ontario Cannabis Store (OCS) will be the name for the government agency, as well as its physical and virtual retail shops.
To help create the brand, the LCBO enlisted the services of global advertising agency Leo Burnett. The LCBO said it settled on a simple name and logo in an effort to help Ontarians navigate a retail landscape that has seen scores of illegal cannabis dispensaries open their doors.
"The development of the brand name and logo was guided by the government priorities of restricting access to youth, protecting public health and addressing the illegal market," the LCBO wrote in an e-mailed statement.
The OCS will be the only retailer in the province that sells this type of product legally. Ontario plans to initially open 40 stores, in addition to offering online sales.
It said it will have 80 stores open by July 1, 2019, and 150 locations by the end of 2020. In contrast, there are *660* LCBO retail stores and 212 agency stores that sell alcoholic beverages in the province. And that's a little more than half of the Ontario alcohol market.
The LCBO said last month that it will use software from Shopify Inc. to process sales online and also in stores on iPads. Shopify will power screens in brick-and-mortar stores that offer customers product and health information.
On Friday, the LCBO also announced the inaugural board of the Ontario Cannabis Retail Corporation (OCRC), a subsidiary of the LCBO charged with selling recreational marijuana in Ontario and operating the OCS.
Current LCBO directors David Graham, Susan Robinson and Lori Spadorcia will also sit on the OCRC board, the LCBO said Friday. Lawyer Ira Kagan will be an OCRC director and Susan Pigott, whose background is in health care and social services, will be its chair.