Sixty-five percent of current and potential cannabis consumers in Canada believe licensed growers should be allowed to open retail stores once recreational marijuana is legalized next year, according to a new poll.

The Oraclepoll Research survey also found that 63% of respondents would prefer to purchase cannabis products in a retail environment.

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The poll, involving 5,000 people, comes two weeks after Ontario released its marijuana regulatory framework, which calls for the private sector to be completely shut out of the retail rec business. Instead, the provincial government laid out plans for a state-run monopoly to sell adult-use cannabis online and in stores.

The poll also found that almost 40% of Canadians will consume cannabis products once legalized – potentially 11.4 million consumers.

So far, Quebec, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island are considering selling recreational marijuana through government-run monopolies, which would limit opportunities for entrepreneurs interested in the retail sector.

Manitoba’s government, meanwhile, is leaving open the possibility the private sector could play a roll in selling recreational cannabis.

Each province has until next summer to develop its own framework for taxation, retail, public consumption and home cultivation.

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