The minimum wage hike in Ontario is truly a double edged sword. While theoretically those making minimum wage will make a few bucks more an hour providing them with more spending power. However I’m not sure how much spending you’re doing after paying for rent, amenities and food off a $14/hour wage even if your spouse is also making $14/hour.

Businesses including coffee chains and restaurants are now forced to lay off employees as wage hike now affect their overhead costs. Not to mention businesses who also look to increase wages for senior employees who were already making $14 in order to keep things fair.

Aphria, one of the largest medical marijuana companies has calculated that the additional wage increase will cost an additional $600,000 in wage costs per year.

“If this increase had been in effect in the current quarter, the company’s ‘all-in’ cost of sales of dried cannabis per gram would have increased by approximately $0.12 per gram,” the Leamington, Ont.-based company said in recent financial documents.

Not only does this wage hike affect operating costs for Ontario businesses but will also drive up prices.

With the increase of both labour costs and electricity costs in Ontario it’s likely that consumers will be paying more for their weed as it has become more difficult for marijuana producers in Ontario to compete with Quebec who have both lowers costs on labour and power.

How have companies responded to the wage hikes?

Tim Horton’s has eliminated paid breaks and their fully covered health and dental plan in order to offset the increased wage costs.

Freshii has increased the costs of items in the fall before in order to prepare for the wage hike.

This may be just the tip of the iceberg.

While theoretically an increase in wage costs seemed like a fair plan, the province has already seen negative effects including layoffs, cut or removed employee benefits, increased product costs and not to mention more expensive weed.

I wonder if the 21% wage hike increase will be proportionate to the cost of inflation as products and services also increase the same percentage or greater?