New details on Ontario’s online cannabis store
Published Thursday, October 11, 2018 6:46PM EDT
In less than a week, Canadians can use marijuana legally and the Ontario government released new details regarding its online store Thursday, but there could be one big problem.
Not everyone thinks legal weed is the next ‘gold rush.’
Zachary Richer works at a Sudbury vape store, Juice on the Loose.
"I don't think it's going to create many new users. I very seldom think there's anyone out there who says ‘oh no, I won't touch that marijuana because it’s illegal.’" said Richer.
And for now, there's just one game in town for legal weed in the province: ocs.ca, the new online home for the Ontario Cannabis Store.
70 strains from 32 licensed producers will be on offer and a statement on one page proclaims: “We bring you safe products and guidance without judgement.”
It sounds great, but there is a catch.
The website doesn't open for business until the day of legalization. And unless it offers Amazon Prime style same-day shipping, an order placed on Wednesday won't mean you'll be able to enjoy your purchase on Wednesday.
So, what's to stop people from going to the black market the way they always have?
Well, according to Ontario Finance Minister Vic Fedeli, the short answer is "well, it's illegal! They're breaking the law when they do that."
That might be a thin argument, considering millions have been breaking the law since 1923.
“Make the website available. Let people go and browse. The black market is waiting. It's ready for this big influx of demand and that's where everyone is going to go." said Nickel Belt MPP France Gelinas.
It's been suggested that the black market will likely undercut the prices of the government's legal pot, but will people stay with the black market once the website can start actually filling the demand?
"People will have no problem going towards the legal outlet, specifically for consistency and as well as safety. And also, if there's less risk of getting in trouble, why not take it?" said Richer.
In the meantime, people might be willing to break the law for a day or two more.