Posts Tagged ‘marijuana’

Doing it the old-fashioned way.

Sunday, August 19th, 2018

We better face facts folks! Dougie and his denizens have four years to tear into the fabric of Ontario. Do you really think you will still recognize your province by the time you have a chance to get rid of them?

Today, we have been looking at the cannabis market. It has been my intent to ignore this subject as much as possible. Recreational drugs are not my thing.

But it looks like Dougie has dumped a can of worms in his lap. To be fair though, it appears that the previous liberal government had already doomed the government cannabis stores to failure. The idea of opening a few legal bricks and mortar outlets this fall was going to do nothing more than give a shot in the arm to the illegal market. Users were laughing. Why should they go in search of those few legal stores when their local pusher is just down the block? They are happy with the old-fashioned way of doing business.

And what I am hearing is that your local back-street guy can easily undercut the legal pricing. Take away the greed of the growers, the federal, provincial and municipal rake-offs, as well as the store overheads and it is obvious the street guy can sell for less. Nobody cares that much about the purity of the product as long as it makes the user happy. Maybe the back-street pedlar might have a few court costs but he knows his local cops and they have more important things to do than keep hassling small-time dealers.

The more serious problem is the municipality that denies the legal sales of pot in their community. These municipalities are just protecting the illegal market. The police can hardly start arresting people for having their personal stash and who is to say where it came from.

Dougie and the gang came in late to this party. Playing catch-up will be tough. They can do very little about the mail order business that is expected to launch in October of this year.

But the fun will start by next April as Dougie’s people get their private sector purveyors licensed and up and running. There will be some interesting stories to tell when the private sector purveyors take on the street sellers. That could be a rough and tumble period as things get sorted out.

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Copyright 2018 © Peter Lowry

Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be sent to  peter@lowry.me

Premier Wynne’s nemesis.

Saturday, April 7th, 2018

If Premier Wynne really wants to keep her job in Ontario, I would suggest that she should make amends by first firing Ed Clark as chair of the Liquor Control Board and of the Ontario Cannabis stores. Even at the price of one dollar per year, he is not worth it. She has given a guy with absolutely no political smarts the ammunition to destroy her.

This is not a question of loyalty. Bad advice and bad advice followed are the problems. Ed Clark has absolutely no political smarts and would ask his doctor if there is a pill for it, if he did. Ed Clark is a banker. Bankers are the people who want you to borrow money, when you do not need it, and demand you pay it back when you lack the funds. They give you a nice shiny new credit card but cluck their tongue when you over use it, in their estimation.

Bankers are never your friend. To suggest that Clark’s experience running TD Bank was a consumer success is to suggest that he failed as a banker. If bankers were honest with you, they would admit that they do not like dealing with the hoi polio. Consumers with their grubby little deposits are not the stuff of bankers’ dreams.

You need to remember that the one blunder that really caused Premier Wynne to fall off her high horse was following Ed Clark’s advice to sell off Hydro One. That was the turning point. Against all political instincts, she started to sell Hydro One without realizing that the voters did not even know what she was attempting to sell. Given the history of Ontario Hydro, it goes down in political history books as a really dumb move.

Somebody should have told Wynne that Hydro One—the transmission network—was hived off from Ontario Hydro 15 years earlier by the Harris government with the intent to sell it. Everybody thought Kathleen Wynne was smarter than Mike Harris. Even he was convinced not to do it.

The other suggestion that Ed Clark made to the Wynne government was that they start selling beer and wine through the grocery stores. That is probably the worst implementation of a government program we have ever seen. The grocery stores do not make money on it. The rules are inconsiderate of the grocers. And they want the same guy to sell marijuana in Ontario?

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Copyright 2018 © Peter Lowry

Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be sent to  peter@lowry.me

Keep to the left Ms. Wynne.

Sunday, March 18th, 2018

Not that she would necessarily listen to this writer but Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne needs advice on dealing with Doug Ford. There is always the hope that someone who reads Babel-on-the-Bay will mention it to her. We, of course, are expecting her and her Liberal government to continue to discuss left-of-centre initiatives in the run-up to the June election. It is just in one of the first salvoes by the new conservative leader Ford across her bow, Kathleen Wynne veered to the right.

And of all subjects, it was regarding the sale of cannabis in Ontario! Kathleen Wynne had to take the grandmother approach. That was not only bad but it took her completely off message.

Wynne ignored all we already know about cannabis. Who does she think really gives a damn about buying weed? Not many of them are grandmothers. Yet in responding, she referred to herself as a grandmother. She can talk grandmother to grandmothers when talking about something grandmothers care about.

Admittedly, it was a set-up. The news media is going to keep feeding questions such as that to Doug Ford and then run to her to ask her for her response. It is to fill the ongoing need of the news media to have something between the advertisements.

The beauty of it is that Ford does not understand many of the questions and he gives little thought to his answers. Premier Wynne does understand it and has to use the opportunities provided to define the political differences between herself and the conservative leader.

She was careless to suggest that Doug Ford was looking to sell cannabis in convenience stores. Nobody suggested that. And to say that Ford was ‘reckless’ by suggesting privatization was silly. It is only pointing out to those who want to be able to buy legal cannabis that the government-run stores will be few and far between. Why push those potential pot purchasers to vote for Ford?

All this particular incident shows is that Wynne does not know why she has to make sure she stays to the left politically. To allow Doug Ford to look more progressive is a tough task, but somehow, Premier Kathleen Wynne managed to make it happen in this instance. She really needs to smarten up.

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Copyright 2018 © Peter Lowry

Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be sent to  peter@lowry.me