New polling data shows that just over half of Ontario voters now prefer a pharmacy or dispensary distribution system for recreational marijuana over the LCBO. This shows a decline in support for both dispensaries and the LCBO. Opposition to the LCBO at 54% opposed is higher than both dispensaries (34%) and pharmacies (40%).
The recent Forum Poll also shows a slight decline in support for home production. 41% of those polled said people should be allowed to grow their own cannabis, down from 44% in December. Those opposed to home growing increased from 45% opposed to 50% opposed. The percentages of those who support legalization (56%) and who say they will use cannabis when legal (23%) remain about the same.
Pharmacies initially rejected carrying marijuana for medical purposes several years ago when Canada's Marijuana for Medical Purposes Regulations were being written, but have since come out in support of distributing marijuana for medical purposes. While Uruguay has established a program for pharmacy distribution of cannabis, no Canadian Pharmacies have gone on record discussing distribution of non-medical cannabis.
Last November, the head of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU) said he believes the LCBO should sell marijuana once it is made legal. OPSEU represents all non-management employees at the Liquor Control Board of Ontario. In December, Ontario Premiere Kathleen Wynne agree that the LCBO was 'well suited' to distributing marijuana.
Control of who sells marijuana has been heating up since the Federal Liberal Party won the 2015 election, with several provincial liquor boards, unions representing liquor store employees and others vying for control of what is expected to be a lucrative, multi billion dollar market.