Re: Ontario pot plan ensures future of black market, Andrew Coyne, Sept. 12
Andrew Coyne’s contention that Ontario has kept cigarettes “mostly out of the hands of criminals” is giving the province too much credit. Ontario has the worst illegal cigarette problem in the country, with an estimated one in three cigarettes purchased being il l egal, often through purpose- built illegal smoke shacks. And it is the criminals who are reaping the benefits — the RCMP has identified about 175 criminal gangs in Canada involved in the trade. Gangs use the proceeds to fund their other illegal activities, including guns, drugs and human smuggling — often when you see contraband tobacco busts, other illegal materials are found on the scene.
Ontario can’t forget about contraband tobacco as it turns its attention to marijuana. Both are major probl ems that fuel organized crime and hinder government regulatory efforts. Both deserve attention. Gary Grant, National Spokesperson, National Coalition Against Contraband Tobacco
July 2017 - OTTAWA — Former Assembly of First Nations chief Phil Fontaine says his pitch to produce medical marijuana on reserves is getting lots of attention from Indigenous communities hoping to get into a potentially lucrative industry. About 100 First Nation communities and business interests are keen on the enterprise, he told the National Post this week, though some stigma remains around cannabis and its production.
Fontaine’s own company Ishkonigan launched a partnership in December with licensed weed producer Cronos Group, and will break ground on a flagship operation in Armstrong, B.C. later this summer. Ishkonigan has a 51 per cent share of the venture, which is expected to be operational in about eight months.
The first location is not on a reserve, but the partners intend to franchise operations on Indigenous land across Canada, with communities owning big chunks of each franchise, and thus sharing in the profit.
I saw an interview by our local evening news host. He was laughing while trying to ask a Gov official ..was the Gov going to profit on the sale of marajauna & were they regulating it only to get that profit. She said yes they will control it but only because they ''care about the health of Canadians''not for the money.He asked about those growing their own,again this was frowned upon as ''Canadians health is our concern''
Years ago I had a niece in Grade 10. She lived in Ottawa and went to an ordinary High School. She also smoked only 'illegal' cigarettes. I asked, how is it you can buy non-taxed smokes? Her reply, it is easy, they are readily available. So I can believe Government sanctioned marijuana will not dominate the market.