Ontario's slow rollout of weed outlets could help black market

Ontario has blamed a shortage of legal cannabis from the federal government for its slow rollout of retail outlets, a claim dismissed by the federal government and regulatory bodies from other provinces, raising prospects the black market for weed may thrive longer in Canada’s most populous province.

Canada became the first G7 country to legalize recreational marijuana in October 2018 but sales have been dampened by supply constraints and prices that are higher than those on the black market.

While the provinces can set their own cannabis guidelines, a provincially run distributor purchases the cannabis from federally licensed producers, and then allocates it to retail locations approved by the province.


Ontario plans to have 50 more cannabis stores this fall

Ontario residents can look forward to having 50 more cannabis retail storefronts this fall following the rollout of storefronts earlier in April.

The province announced on Wednesday that the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario will hold another lottery in August for applicants to obtain one of 42 licenses. Another eight will be distributed to various native reservations through a separate process.

The news comes even though there are still some of the first retail license holders who have not opened their stores yet. The applications process this time will be much more detailed to ensure that those who get a license are ready to open by October.  


Ontario to issue 50 new pot shop licences under new vetting process

Ontario will issue 50 new cannabis retail licences this year, a move aimed at expanding legal pot sales in the country's largest marijuana market while helping to stamp out the illicit industry, the provincial government announced Wednesday. 

The province plans to issue 42 new licences for private-sector retailers who successfully pre-qualify to be part of a new lottery system later this month. The remaining eight licences will be allocated for outlets in First Nations communities. 


After months of struggling, Toronto has closed over 85% of illicit pot shops

There's more good news for Ontario's legal weed business, as provincial officials report a huge decrease in the number of illicit dispensaries, writes Calvin Hughes.

Police in the city are now investigating only nine unlicensed cannabis stores, said Toronto Director of Investigation Services with Municipal Licensing and Standards Mike Sraga.


Ontario ombudsman says Ontario Cannabis Store received most complaints this year

Ontario’s ombudsman, Paul Dube, released his annual report earlier this week in which they stated the Ontario Cannabis Store (OCS) received the most complaints of any organization throughout their fiscal year.

The report says that more than 2,400 Ontario residents complained about the Ontario Cannabis Store, which from October until April was the only legal way to purchase recreational cannabis in the province. The ombudsman office had to dedicate a team to deal solely with cannabis complaints simply because there were so many.

One of such complaints was from a man who was told by the Ontario Cannabis Store that in order to receive a refund for a purchase, he would have to return an empty box with a shipping label.  


Opening of retail stores more than doubled Ontario's recreational cannabis sales

The opening of brick-and-mortar retail locations has significantly boosted Ontario’s licensed cannabis sales, according to data released by Statistics Canada.


Choom surpasses $49,000 in opening day sales at the Niagara Flagship cannabis store

Choom™ (CSE: CHOO;OTCQB: CHOOF), is pleased to announce that Choom Niagara, the first legal, adult use cannabis store to operate in Niagara Falls, ON has produced over $49,000 in sales on its opening day.


Shipping container cannabis stores in Canada aim to cash in on neglected rural markets

The death of the retail industry may have been greatly exaggerated – but that doesn't mean the industry isn't currently going through major disruptive and fundamental changes. For this special series, Yahoo Finance Canada will look at how the retail scene is developing, what companies are doing to adapt, and what could come next. Click the image above to see our full coverage of what the future holds for the Canadian and global retail scene.


Cannabis retail is in its infancy, but that hasn’t stopped one startup from thumbing its nose at the status quo.


Nipissing First Nation develops its own set of cannabis laws

Nipissing First Nation (NFN) has developed its own set of cannabis laws, which are destined to be implemented next week.

NFN wants to be part of the cannabis industry, but critics of the current system say that the federal government’s rules are stacked against enabling First Nations businesses and entrepreneurs to get in on the industry.


Ontario Cannabis Store issues a product call for edibles, extracts and topicals

The Ontario Cannabis Store (OCS) has released a call for submissions of new, soon-to-be-legal cannabis products such as edibles and drinks, extracts, and topicals.


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