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Making Waves

Provide Marijuana Access To Everone, Or Don't


By Matt Hermiz

Much like alcohol, the market is shaping up to look vastly different depending on where you live in Canada.

Alberta is opening the doors for almost anyone to apply to become a cannabis distributor. B.C., will offer sales through both public and private means... while in Ontario, we're in store for pot shops run by the LCBO.

From what we've heard about the province's pot plans, government control looks to be where we're starting.

Here's to hoping any attempts to open up the green market in future aren't handled in the same manner the booze market has been.

Today, our alcohol market is not public and private, but public and corporate.

When the Liberals expanded the beer market in 2015, major grocers joined major brewers, operators of The Beer Store, in the distribution club.

Outside of small store fronts selling specific craft brands, only government, major beer corporations and major retail corporations can sell. .

If you're going to privatize, privatize. If you're not, don't.

Public markets don't discriminate: no access for anyone. Except for, well, government.

Free, private markets are fair as well: access for anyone.

Corporate markets, like Ontario's beer market, allow large corporations to operate monopolies.

The need for controlled distribution is obvious when it comes to potentially harmful substances like alcohol or pot.

But can't our regulators design a process to allow anyone to apply to operate in the marketplace?

If not, then leave the market and accountability for control solely in government hands.

Either route is fair -- far more than only allowing certain market participants.

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