Most residents of Ontario want legal cannabis sold in private retail stores instead of government operations, according to a new Nanos Research poll.

The poll found that 55 percent of those surveyed supported private retail. Moreover, 48 percent support licensed and regulated cannabis lounges, while about 46 percent opposed such facilities.

"Openness to lounges was surprising just because there's a strong kind of anti-indoor smoking bias, but I think people realize you actually take people from smoking on the streets to smoking in these closed settings where they're not bothering other people," said David Clement with the Consumer Choice Centre.

"The answer to the private retailer question was not so surprising because people are becoming increasingly irritated with the LCBO and how alcohol is sold, so I think a lot of people see the problems with that system and we don't want to replicate that."

The Canadian government plans to legalize cannabis by July 1, 2018. The feds are largely leaving mattersĀ of distributionĀ up to individual provinces.

h/t CKLW