Last Friday, Ontario’s Premier, Doug Ford, deemed cannabis “non-essential” in his updated list of essential businesses that are to remain open amid the coronavirus pandemic. As a result, 52 recreational cannabis dispensaries in Ontario closed over the weekend and are expected to cease all operations for at least 14 days.
Cannabis consumers are still able to purchase their products from the widely contentious Ontario Cannabis Store– a government-run online cannabis dispensary, that came under fire in late 2018 when customers complained of mold in their weed.
While everyone seems to agree that public health comes first, some critics claim the move has done little to improve social distancing as cannabis buyers are now required to stand in line at the post office to sign for their cannabis packages.
We believe Ford’s measure while being done under good intentions, is an overreaction and will do more harm than good to our local economy and public safety.
We propose that Ford use his emergency powers to label the industry as “essential” and temporarily allow private licensed cannabis retailers to:
- Deliver cannabis orders to a customer’s residence or to a vehicle on the licensed dispensary’s premises.
- Allow customers to pre-order and pick up their purchases via curbside services.
It should be noted that LCBO and Beer Store outlets are still considered “essential” and Ford will be allowing customers to make purchases in-store, instead of safer curbside or delivery options.
Please sign this petition to compel Ford to use his emergency powers so private cannabis businesses can continue to operate while still protecting the health of Ontarians.
As of Monday, April 6th, the petition has gained over 3,000 signatures and has been featured in Global News and blogTO.