Members, Restaurant Regulations, Restaurants, Community Post, General, Ontario

Pssst! Wanna buy a dispensary?

Pssst! Wanna buy a dispensary?

Why go through the red tape of opening a restaurant, when you can call it a dispensary and start up with practically no input from any level of government?

Opening a bar or restaurant, you’ll wait up to a year to get approvals – and that doesn’t include the fees, paperwork and ongoing inspections once you open.

But marijuana dispensaries come with few or no government regulations attached.

So why not open a food and beverage dispensary? Open it wherever you like, and kiss the headache of government approvals goodbye. Don’t be fussed about health regulations – you’re on it, right? – or about posting product information.

And you can snicker at the suckers still opening “restaurants” who have to deal with details like government approvals, inspections, and staff training.


So ...

Restaurants Canada isn’t actually suggesting you open a food and drink dispensary, or flout the laws we mentioned above. But we have to ask ourselves, if it’s absurd for restaurants to open with no regulations or oversight, why it isn’t equally absurd for marijuana dispensaries to do the same?

In Toronto, some of the councillors who object to new or expanded alcohol licenses in their wards shrug off the issue of unregulated dispensaries, saying, “what are ya gonna do?”

It’s hard to imagine why marijuana dispensaries, which exist on dubious legal grounds, are given a free pass, while restaurants and other foodservice establishments continue having to jump through hoops to open up and to remain open.

What do you think? Share with us.


Author James Rilett is the VP Ontario for Restaurants Canada. Interested in more info about Ontario regulations for foodservice and restaurants,  or just have something to say? Check out our website or contact our Membership department for more information on how to get involved.


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