Just as the last debate was wrapping up last night, we were wrapping up our questions for the leaders of the three main political parties in Ontario on where they, precisely, on the matter of cannabis regulation and distribution in the province. With all kinds of open questions, such as what policies and enforcement measures are being considered on everything from road safety to illegal retail distribution and grow-ops, everyone in Canada, not just Ontario, will be waiting and watching what unfolds if and when the federal legislation legalizing recreational consumption of cannabis is passed. Matters relating to employment and employer rights, residential rights, and human rights will be entering into the public consciousness shortly too.

Since we expect the leaders or their handlers may not be willing or able to expound on every detail in their platform with respect to cannabis, we confined our questions to matters relating to distribution, a key consideration in policy. Specifically, we wanted to understand what objectives each party’s cannabis policies will achieve and by what means they intend to achieve them. We asked the questions below.

To all parties:

What is the primary objective of your cannabis distribution and regulation strategy?
A. Eliminating/reducing black market sales
B. Incremental taxation
C. Consumer information, protection and safety
D. Other

What is(are) the secondary objective(s) of your cannabis distribution and regulation strategy?
A. Eliminating/reducing black market sales
B. Incremental taxation
C. Consumer information, protection and safety
D. Other

To Kathleen Wynne, of the Ontario Liberal Party

Based on reported incidents of increased black-market activity, oversupply issues, and law enforcement in jurisdictions where cannabis has been legalized for recreational consumption, is there anything in the current projected implementation that you plan on adjusting or watching closely?

Given that your government is planning on using the existing LCBO-type model of distribution through the Ontario Cannabis Retail Corporation, do you think that the proposed number of outlets will satisfy your primary and secondary objectives?

To Doug Ford, of the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario

You have stated that “we got to be super, super, super careful” in regulating the cannabis market. What do you mean by that statement and what risks do you foresee?

How, if at all, would you change the current government’s plan, using the existing LCBO-type model of distribution through the Ontario Cannabis Retail Corporation? How many outlets would you foresee opening in the year(s) following anticipated legalization for recreational purposes?

Given your party’s stated objective of making Ontario “open for business”, as see on the PC Party website, how, if at all would you see incorporating the private sector in retail or medical distribution of cannabis?

Andrea Horwath, Ontario New Democratic Party

How, if at all, would you change the current government’s plan, using the existing LCBO-type model of distribution through the Ontario Cannabis Retail Corporation? How many outlets would you foresee opening in the year(s) following anticipated legalization for recreational purposes?

Will your government oppose conversion of existing farmland, greenhouses or other agricultural property by licensed cannabis producers, as has been suggested by certain statements and reports?

We are not holding our breath for answers. We will report back if and when we hear back from the candidates or their parties. If you live, work or invest in Ontario and any of these questions are on your mind, or if you have different questions, find your representative, or the leaders of the parties and ask them your questions. It’s your right to ask, if not to know.