Ontario Legalization: An LCBO Model

Is anyone surprised that Ontario is creating a cannabis control board? That the supply will be coming from licensed producers? To quote Ontario Minister of Finance Charles Sousa, that it will be a “LCBO model?”

Are you surprised that only up to 80 storefronts will be welcomed into the scheme? That the current dispensaries and compassion clubs will be forced out of the market within the next 12 months?

This is what I and many others have been warning about before Justin & the Liberals were even elected. That is to say, we told you so.

Did you really think these new legal storefronts were going to be run by the current “criminals” of the industry? Y’know, those activists who risked their livelihoods protesting unjust laws?

They call Ontario, “Onterrible” for a reason. Once the envy of the rest of the country, over a decade of Liberal Party rule has decimated the once free and prosperous province.

Ontario’s cannabis control board plans to open only 150 storefronts by 2020. Is this enough for the province’s 13.6 million inhabitants, spread over 1.076 million square kilometres?

The market is clearly large enough for Toronto to maintain 140 dispensaries right now.

How does the Ontario government know how to effectively manage the sale and distribution of cannabis? Despite their belief that they have the “experience and expertise” the truth is they don’t.

As economist Murray Rothbard wrote, “People are contrary cusses whose behavior, thank goodness, cannot be forecast precisely in advance. Their values, ideas, expectations, and knowledge change all the time, and change in an unpredictable manner. … Every economic quantity, every price, purchase, or income figure is the embodiment of thousands, even millions, of unpredictable choices by individuals.”

Let’s say the new Cannabis Control Board has data for the total amount of cannabis goods and services purchased and data for impaired driving in the province.

Perhaps they have measurements showing these two variables are correlated. Because this is the only correlation for which they have data, the Cannabis Control Board will then act as if this is the only casual connection that matters.

They’ll conclude that cannabis impairment on the roads can be resolved by decreasing the total amount of cannabis goods and services, or by limiting when people can buy it (ever try to buy alcohol from the LCBO at 12 am on a Sunday?).

Of course, this ignores the true cause of impairment, whatever it may be. (Or how the data even defines “impairment.”)

No, giving the Ontario government this kind of power is a dangerous thing. It’s ineffective and detrimental to the liberty Canadians have intrinsic to their being.

When the market can sustain at least 140 dispensaries in Toronto, but Kathleen Wynne’s Liberals plan to limit the market to between 30 and 80 stores in the entire province, the end result will be lines and shortages.

The “black market” will continue.

The economics are no different from the breadlines experienced in the former Soviet Union.

Thankfully, the Ontario government isn’t going after wheat farmers, producers and sellers. But if this is how they treat the new emerging cannabis market, what’s to stop them from turning their sights to other goods and services?

All it takes is an ignorant belief held by the masses and an activist government to implement it.