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According to a Nanos Research and Consumer Choice Centre survey, 55 percent of Ontarians prefer to have cannabis sold by licensed private retailers than the Liquor Control Board of Ontario, with 40 percent preferring the state-run option. Respondents were split 48 percent to 46 percent in favor of licensed and regulated cannabis lounges.

Of the supporters for the lounges, 58.4 percent were between 18 to 39-years-old, which dropped to 44.9 percent for respondents aged 40 to 59-years-old, and to 39.1 percent for those 60-and-older.

Women preferred allowing private entities to provide retail sales, 57 percent, compared to 51.8 percent for men; however a large number, 61.8 percent, refused to answer the question on the survey.

In a statement to Insauga, the CCC called the state-run option a “bad deal for consumers.”

“The government banning private sector cannabis stores is a move that not only limits consumer choice but also enables black market sales,” the CCC in the statement.

David Clement, North American affairs director for the CCC said that citizens “have already made it clear” they don’t want the government to run the stores that sell cannabis products.

“The move to create a cannabis control board will simply replicate the existing issues we see with the LCBO and alcohol,” he said in the report. “The province should embrace private retail and the wants of consumers.”

Ontario officials have said they plan to license 30 to 60 dispensaries throughout the province.

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