Many outstanding questions on selling legal marijuana in Ontario, business prof says

A Sudbury, Ont. business professor says the province's plan on how marijuana will be sold in Ontario leaves a lot of questions.

Ontario’s Progressive Conservatives announced how recreational marijuana will be sold

Legal recreational marijuana will be sold online starting in October in Ontario. The province says a private retail model will be launched next spring. (Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images)

A Sudbury, Ont. business professor says the government's plan on how marijuana will be sold in Ontario leaves a lot of questions.

On Monday, the Progressive Conservatives announced it will allow recreational pot to be sold in retail stores while the province will handle online sales.

The online system will be available starting Oct. 17, the federal government's required date for provinces to be ready to sell recreational marijuana. The government says a consultation process will follow with the aim of introducing a private retail model by Apr. 1.

Cambrian College's Brian Vendramin says there are unanswered questions about purchasing marijuana online.

"If you're going to go online, clearly you need to have that whole channel setup," he said.

"We need to make sure we're not ordering pizzas here." 

Vendramin says there are also questions about how people will be able to pay for legal marijuana online and the delivery process.

Brian Vendramin is a business professor at Cambrian College in Sudbury. (CBC)

"One of the things I was most concerned about was how do we protect underage people from trying to buy marijuana online," he said.

"So, I'm hoping the government will have all that in place as they look at that important channel before they go to the retail trade."

The province also announced communities will have a "one-time window" to be able to op-out of allowing sales in physical stores in their area.

"I think it's going to be contentious with respect to the city by city to decide if they want to have a retail business," he said.

"They haven't said when the deadline will be for them to opt-out but clearly with a [municipal] election coming in October, that point certainly comes to the top."

With files from Kate Rutherford


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