Be less cautious: Chamber of Commerce cannabis council

Published on December 2, 2022 by oz. staff

Photo: OCPC/contributed
The Ontario Cannabis Policy Council has been meeting with stakeholders and lobbying various level of government for common sense changes.

The Ontario Chamber of Commerce’s cannabis council says it’s time for the province’s cannabis policy to move beyond being overly cautious.

This week the Ontario Cannabis Policy Council put forward their 2023 mandate, including numerous reforms that would make the legal industry more competitive against illicit operators.

“While a cautious approach from federal and provincial regulators was understandable at the outset of legalization, there is a clear need for common sense policies to better support the viability of a robust and competitive legal sector,” says Daniel Safayeni, VP of Policy for the Ontario chamber.

Ontario is Canada’s largest cannabis consumer market.

Nathan Mison appointed as council co-chair

Launched in 2019 by the 60,000-member Ontario Chamber of Commerce, the cannabis council has been working with government in its lobbying effort for changes to policy and regulations.

The council also announced this week its appointment of Nathan Mison as the council’s new co-chair. He is president of Diplomat Consulting.

“Ontario is a critical province in the development of Canada’s cannabis industry. It is home to 75 percent of all cultivators and has the most cannabis retailers in the country. We believe the Ontario cannabis industry can become a strong, sustainable, and vibrant sector that contributes to the growth of this province,” says Mison.

The Ontario Cannabis Policy Council’s 2023 priorities are:

  • Implementing the recommendations outlined in Ontario’s Auditor General’s report with specific emphasis on OCS pricing, markups, and transparency around product listing /delisting.
  • Championing common-sense reforms to help support the sector’s growth. Be it the structure of the federal excise tax or payment terms for licenced producers provincially, there is an urgent need for change within the current cannabis retail distribution model.
  • Advocating for the necessary structural reforms to make Ontario’s cannabis sector more competitive against the illicit market – which still accounts for approximately half of all cannabis consumed in Ontario – including allowing a direct commercial relationship between LPs and retailers.