This is what it will cost to open a retail cannabis store in Ontario

Dec 4 2018, 4:07 pm

Ontario weed smokers are a patient lot.

After sitting through the original run of much delayed post-legalization Ontario Cannabis Store deliveries — Grow’s office order in Toronto took 15 days —  October 17, 2017, came and went with much fanfare. But April 2019 is the deadline the Ford government has set for the introduction of private cannabis retail.

As we said, a patient lot.

Details are scarce on the subject but the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario has released a breakdown of the costs for licensing. Overall, central-Canadian entrepreneurs looking to ride the green wave will be paying in excess of $10,000 for the various certifications required to open up a cannabis retail store in Ontario.

According to the AGCO, a retail operator’s licence for a two-year term will be available for $6,000, retail store authorization fees are $4,000 and a cannabis retail manager licence is $750, for a total of $10,750. Comparatively, the fees to set up a tobacco and cigar shop in Toronto are only $632.87, according to the city’s website.

Sole proprietors or partnerships between two or more individuals who will be both the licensed operator and retail store manager for a particular location, will not be required to purchase a Cannabis Retail Manager Licence.

Licenses will be issued by the AGCO register or their deputies. Currently, there aren’t specific regulations pertaining to a lot of the aspects of running a business. Though the current version of the Cannabis Act (Bill C-45) allows the register to create regulations for the following:

  1. Store premises, equipment and facilities, including surveillance and security.
  2. The prevention of unlawful activities, including prohibiting or restricting certain individuals from entering cannabis retail stores.
  3. Advertising and promotional activities.
  4. Training relating to cannabis, including the responsible use of cannabis, and to the sale of cannabis.
  5. The protection of assets, including money and money equivalents.
  6. The keeping of records, including financial records.
  7. Reasonable measures to maintain the confidentiality and security of records, including measures to securely dispose of records and to prevent unauthorized access to records.
  8. Compliance with a cannabis tracking system in the Cannabis Act (Canada).
  9. Any other matter relating to the conduct of holders of licences or authorizations issued under this Act or to the operation of cannabis retail stores that may be prescribed.

Retails who lose their licenses will be required to wait two years before they are able to reapply for another.

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