· by Bianca Caramento
The Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) recently released their report, Supporting Ontario’s Budding Cannabis Industry. The report outlines Ontario’s competitive advantage and how to capitalize on Canada’s first-mover status in this fast-moving industry. The Hamilton Chamber of Commerce is pleased to have contributed to this report and its findings.
The report provides a comprehensive analysis of Ontario’s cannabis market from the perspective of industry and the role public policy can play to ensure the legal market remains competitive by seizing economic opportunity, eliminating the illegal market, and safeguarding public health and responsible adult consumption.
The report makes a number of recommendations on a wide range of issues impacting the sector including:
- Setting up the private retail market for success by proceeding with a merit-based licensing system and allowing consumers to purchase directly online from licensed producers for the next phase of private retail.
- Addressing Ontario’s supply shortage by developing a common excise stamp to allow producers to more efficiently ship products, and investing in Health Canada’s capacity to license facilities at an accelerated rate without compromising the inspection process.
- Getting regulations around edibles right by striking the necessary balance between prioritizing public safety while effectively eradicating the illegal market as edibles and other methods of cannabis consumption enter the market in late 2019.
- Nurturing Ontario’s talent pool by working with Ontario’s post-secondary institutions, highlighting the variety of education and employment opportunities related to the legal cannabis sector.