Cannabis retail in Ontario has been a little slower to roll out than most other provinces in the country.
When Doug Ford was elected premier over incumbent Kathleen Wynne, he made good on his promise to move the province away from a publicly owned chain of cannabis stores to a private retail model.
Twenty-five applicants were selected to be given retail licenses during an independent lottery in January, after Ontario limited the amount given out to avoid the shortages that plagued the country, causing a freeze on store licenses in Alberta, and reduced hours of operation in Quebec.
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Now that the lottery is over, store owners must be ready to open for business by April 1, 2019.
Currently, there are eight total applications filed with the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario.
- Ameri was the first application for Toronto submitted to the AGCO. The listed address is for 20 Cumberland St, a short walk from the Royal Ontario Museum.
- The Hunny Pot Cannabis Co. has submitted an application to open up shop on 202 Queen St. West.
- Spiritleaf, a cannabis retailer with locations in Alberta and Saskatchewan, has submitted an application to open a Kingston location. It was also announced on Tuesday that the store will feature an Up Cannabis “Experiential Hub.” Which a release describes as a “store-within-a-store,” and will offer education about cannabis, while showcasing the brand’s “love of music and various community and charitable endeavours.”
- Dubbed Superette, the store is looking to open up near the city’s affluent Westboro neighbourhood, at 1306 Wellington St.
- Ganjika House is currently the only Brampton application submitted. The address is listed by the AGCO as 186 Main St S.
- The Niagara Herbalist has submitted its application for St. Catherines, at #15 – 33 Lakeshore Rd.
- Fabulous Leaf is the name of Oshawa’s first retail application. The address will be 575 Laval Dr, in suite 400.
At time of writing, these are all the locations that have submitted to the AGCO. There has been no indication as of their current status and lottery winners are still subject to disqualification if they violate any of the lottery’s rules.
The AGCO’s website shows that one name was removed from the province’s list of licensees. Gary Hatt’s name was disqualified from possessing a GTA region cannabis retail license for allegedly violating Rule 2(b), which states that winners are “not permitted to change their applicant type, ownership and/or corporate structure in such a way that would result in a change of control of the Expression of Interest Applicant or licensee during the Lottery Process.”
All employees will be required to compete CannSell, a provincially approved training program, developed by Lift & Co. and MADD Canada.