As the date for legalization approaches, the Canadian government and provinces are hard at work creating their legal framework for the regulation of recreational and medical cannabis. According to the current status, each province will have the freedom to determine their own model of marijuana retail sales and it seems Ontario is making an impressive entry to the marijuana market.

According to reports by CBC, the provincial government announced a partnership with one of the world’s biggest ecommerce platforms, Shopify.


Marijuana Retail Sales in Ontario

The Ontario Cannabis Retail Corporation is the regulating authority of the province’s legal cannabis program. The OCRC is a subsidiary of the Liquor Control Board of Ontario, which is responsible for liquor sales.

LCBO CEO, George Soleas, commented on the deal:

Our top priority is fulfilling the province’s framework for the safe and sensible retailing of recreational cannabis for when it is legalized by the federal government (…) we look forward to combining our expertise as a socially responsible retailer with Shopify’s world-class commerce solutions to deliver the safe, informed and reliable shopping experience that our new customers will expect.


Marijuana Powered By Shopify: How Will it Work?

Unlike recreational marijuana sales in US States, all sales in Ontario must be conducted through government-run stores and not private entities.

As things stand right now, this partnership means that Shopify will power all legal marijuana retail sales via dedicated point-of-sale systems in online and in physical stores, with the use of iPads that will provide product information and guidelines on proper use, in compliance with federal law.

In addition to that, Shopify’s technology will be used as an inventory management software that the Ontario government will use for accounting and human resources operation.

“Bringing this differentiator to the LCBO on this historic project to consumers of legal age across Ontario is a great example of a made-in-Canada innovation, which we are proud to be a part of,” said Loren Padelford, vice president of Shopify Plus, a service of the company that focuses on premium account management.

Recreational sales in Ontario will be unlike the model that’s currently in place for many US states. The most important difference will be that all recreational sales must be conducted through government-run stores and not private entities.

The OCRC is currently drafting the framework for the installation of the system, in order for it to be ready by the time marijuana is officially legalized by the federal government in July 2018. Ontario plans to begin with an initial wave of 40 stores that are projected to quadruple within two years.

Canadian Cannabis Craft Beer: How Was This Not a Thing?

Fans of marijuana, craft beer and new investment ideas will be happy to know that a well-known Toronto craft brewer has partnered up with one of the largest medical cannabis companies in Canada.

Their mission? To create a cannabis-inspired beer!

The news might not seem like much to people who are used to seeing products infused with cannabis here and there. However, it’s the first time a cross-industry collaboration like that happens in Canada, marking the start of a trend that is already popular in the US. There, the owner of Corona beer is working with the company Canopy Growth for the creation of cannabis-infused beers and beverages.

Toronto craft brewer Amsterdam Brewery has partnered with one of the largest medical cannabis companies in Canada, MedReleaf, to create a “cannabis-inspired beer” in a project that could be the start of cross-industry collaboration on product development and branding in the nation.

As of yet the beer is in development. It’s name? 4:20 Pale Ale.

Leafbuyer Launches Blockchain Platform

In other marijuana news, Leafbuyer Technologies, Inc. (LBUY), a cannabis technology company, announced the launch of a platform based on blockchain technology. With this development, Leafbuyer aims at increasing the value of its network for both dispensary partners and consumers. The secure environment of blockchain will ensure that fraud and altering of records will be minimized, enabling Leafbuyer to take advantage of its rapidly expanding web traffic.

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