Poll Shows Most Ontarians Want Cannabis Sold In Liquor Stores, Not Dispensaries

The province of Ontario, where the merits of private dispensaries have been in the news, will play a key role in shaping how legalization will operate across Canada, which makes the latest results of a Nanos poll particularly of note.

The poll, commissioned by the Ontario Public Service Employees Union, showed strong continued support for legalization, but made a clear case for citizens preferring a heavily regulated cannabis market to a more open market, such as the one dispensaries are campaigning for. Nine out of 10 respondents thought all cannabis sales should come with an ID check. Nearly half of the respondents said they didn't want cannabis sold in convenience stores and only six percent thought anywhere tobacco is sold should be able to sell cannabis as well.

When it comes to where cannabis should be sold, 41 percent of respondents favored the provincial liquor regulator, LCBO, and 32 percent said they'd like to see cannabis sold through pharmacies. Just 17 percent chose private dispensaries as their first choice for where cannabis should be sold.

Further compounding the problem of dispensaries seeking public approval, more than half of survey respondents said they have a negative or somewhat negative impression of privately operated marijuana dispensaries, while six in 10 of those who completed the survey said they support or somewhat support cannabis being sold in LCBO's dedicated stores. 

15 percent of those who participated in the survey said they occasionally or regularly consume marijuana. A full report created by Nanos is available for download.


After making progress on marijuana reform, the legalization movement has stalled in two New England states. Cannabis became legal in Vermont last July, but state lawmakers did not put a regulated market for marijuana in place at that time. So while adults in Vermont can possess, grow and consume cannabis, they can't buy it legally.

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