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Ontario residents supportive of private cannabis retail, survey says

A poll published Thursday by the Ontario Cannabis Policy Council says most residents of Ontario are open to the idea of more private involvement in the province’s marijuana retail sector.

The survey, which was commissioned by retailer Fire & Flower and conducted by Nanos Research, more than six in 10 Ontarians are open or somewhat open to private-sector involvement, with the oversight of the Government of Ontario, in the buying, retailing, and distribution of cannabis.

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"This survey further reinforces that we need to create an environment that allows large organizations, as well as small and medium-sized enterprises and entrepreneurs to compete effectively," said Daniel Safayeni, director of policy at the Ontario Chamber of Commerce and co-chair of the OCPC. "One of the most effective tools we have in combatting illicit cannabis sales is establishing a robust, competitive, private retail market."

Here are the key points of the survey:

  • 62 per cent of Ontarians are open or somewhat open to private companies being able to buy directly from retailers;
  • 61 per cent of Ontarians are open or somewhat open to private companies being allowed to distribute cannabis between producers and retailers; and
  • 58 per cent of Ontarians are open or somewhat open to private companies being allowed to retail cannabis online.

– Staff

Westleaf to combine with We Grow BC

Westleaf Inc. said Friday it has entered into a definitive arrangement agreement to combine with We Grow BC Ltd., an indoor cannabis producer located in Creston, B.C. The company says the deal is “expected to accelerate We Grow’s strategy to expand cultivation capabilities for its popular Qwest and Qwest Reserve ultra-premium cannabis flower brands.” The arrangement is expected to elevate the combined entity’s forecasted 2020 cannabis production capacity to 9,100 kgs of dried cannabis flower. Calgary based Westleaf says the tie-up will create one of Canada’s largest craft producers. Under the arrangement agreement, Westleaf will purchase all of the issued and outstanding shares of We Grow, other than its Class “H” non-voting common participating shares, in exchange for common shares of Westleaf.

- Staff

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