Ontario cannabis retail hopefuls can enter lottery next week

Those interested in opening a cannabis retail store in Ontario will have the chance to enter a lottery early next week to receive one of the first 25 retail licenses for the province.

When the Progressive Conservative (PC) government took leadership of the province in October, they decided to switch the Liberal’s plan of having only government-run retail locations to having privately owned shops as well. As such, no stores were opened for legalization in October so for now, the only way to purchase legal cannabis in Ontario is online through the provincially-run Ontario Cannabis Store.


One Indigenous reserve bans Ontario Cannabis Store deliveries, others consider it

A northern Ontario Indigenous community has become the first to ban the province’s monopoly pot delivery service from its territory, a move that at least one Southwestern Ontario First Nation – maybe more – is looking to follow.

In Southwestern Ontario, where illegal marijuana stores have proliferated in the past year, Indigenous leaders have voiced concerns about the fallout from legalized marijuana, but none has completed the required steps under Ontario’s new marijuana law to ban the Ontario Cannabis Store (OCS) from delivering to their communities.

Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug, a community 580 kilometres north of Thunder Bay, became the first to do so last week, according to the OCS.


Ontario to only allow 25 cannabis stores at launch

The provincial government will only be licencing 25 stores to sell cannabis products when the veil is lifted on retail outlets in April, citing ongoing supply issues as the cause for the limit. 

On December 13, Attorney General Caroline Mulroney and Minister of Finance Vic Fedeli released the following statement on changes being made to the licensing process for recreational retail cannabis stores in Ontario: “It is the federal government’s responsibility to oversee cannabis production and to provide a viable alternative to the illegal market by ensuring there is sufficient supply to meet consumer demand. Yet, we continue to see severe supply shortages across the country in legal, licenced recreational cannabis stores.”


Ontario will limit number of dispensaries allowed within the province

In an about-face from earlier positions, provincial lawmakers in Ontario today announced that it will place a limit on the number of private dispensaries that will be allowed to open in the province. Initially, Ontario planned for a gradual rollout of recreational retail without any limits on the number of private dispensaries. But in an announcement today, lawmakers said they will now cap private dispensaries at 25.

A Change in Policy

Provincial authorities announced the policy change in a statement issued earlier today. In the statement, they said that Ontario will now adopt a “phased approach” in which only a set number of private weed shops will receive licenses.


Canada: Toronto and Ottawa vote to allow retail cannabis stores

Councillors in Toronto have voted to allow retail pot shops in Canada's most populous city.

Councillors voted 20-4 Thursday evening to allow privately run cannabis stores to operate in Toronto.

The decision came on the same day councillors in Ottawa voted to allow pot shops to open in the nation's capital, and a day after councillors in Markham and Mississauga voted not to.

The Progressive Conservative government has given communities in Ontario until Jan. 22 to decide whether they want to opt out of hosting the stores, which are set to open starting in April.

Currently, a government-run online store is the only way to purchase recreational pot in the province.


Canada: Ontario cities already opting out of cannabis retail stores

The Ontario provincial government has given municipalities until January 22 to decide if they will host cannabis retail shops and some major cities in the Greater Tortonto Area have already made the decision to opt out.

Both Mississauga and Markham decided Wednesday that the cities will not allow for their communities to have retail locations which are expected to begin opening across the province in April. In both cases, the city councils felt there are too many variables and issues that need to be addressed before stores should be allowed to open.

The Mississauga council decided “no” to cannabis stores with a 10-2 vote.  


Canada: Toronto mayor wants more municipal control over retail cannabis shops

The Mayor of Toronto John Tory wants the Province of Ontario to give more agency to municipalities in deciding where retail cannabis stores can be located.

Ultimately, Tory’s concern is the safety of residents and particularly children, especially in the City of Toronto. He still believes retail locations should be made available but thinks that cities should have more of a say in where they can be located within their respective communities.


Ottawa police support city in recommending allowing cannabis retail locations

The Ottawa Police Service is supporting the City of Ottawa’s recommendation in allowing retail store locations in the city, and that the move to do so would help in reducing organized crime.

The Advice from the Ottawa Police Service (OPS) was included in a report published earlier this week that was given to council before a special meeting taking place next Thursday. The Council will decide in that meeting whether or not to allow retail stores.


CannTrust's Pelham marijuana tops Canadian Cannabis Awards

Good things certainly do grow in Ontario, and when it comes to the nation's best buds, those good things are growing in Pelham.

Lift & Co. announced winners of the 2018 Canadian Cannabis Awards last Thursday. Vaughan-based CannTrust cleaned up, landing not only awards for top licensed producer and top licensed producer customer service, but also for several products, including top high CBD oil, top balanced oil, top sativa flower, top hybrid flower and top high-CBD flower.

The term "flower" refers to the dried, and most recognizable, form of cannabis as opposed to processed products such as oils and other extracts.


Legal marijuana becomes truly Canadian with Wiarton's curling 'bongspiel'

If there were ever a sign that marijuana has come in from the cold, this surely is it, what’s believed to be Canada’s first curling“bongspiel.”

A Southwestern Ontario club plans a tournament next month combining one of the country’s oldest winter pasttimes, curling, with what’s rapidly becoming a new lifestyle choice, legal weed.

Forget the jokes about stoners and curling stones; the all-day event sold out within 24 hours, with calls coming in from across Ontario and 16 four-person teams signing up at $200 a team.

Music and munchies also are included.


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