All 25 Ontario pot shops won’t be ready to open April 1

Ontario’s first cannabis retail shops are set to open their doors next week, but some of the 25 licence holders are still wading through the lengthy approval process and might not be ready for business.

Stores that fail to open on Monday could face escalating penalties, but the Progressive Conservative government said it would not rush the vetting process.

“We’ll wait and see on April 1 how many open,” said Finance Minister Vic Fedeli. “There was prohibition for 100 years and we’re going to be in this business for 100 years. We will not rush into anything.”

Recreational cannabis can currently only be purchased legally in Ontario through a government-run website.


Canopy's Linton says Ontario's pot shop launch will 'be like Oct. 17'

With just over a week until bricks-and-mortar cannabis shops can open their doors in Ontario, the head of the world’s biggest cannabis company said the first day will “be like Oct. 17 all over again.”

Bruce Linton, co-CEO and chairman of Canopy Growth Corp. (WEED.TO), said he expects long lineups, parties and strong sales on April 1, the day that the province will allow licensed pot shops to officially open, more than six months after Canada legalized recreational use of the drug.


Strathroy pot producer set to become major player in cannabis market

A Strathroy, Ont.-based cannabis producer had secured financing from a major Canadian bank for an expansion that will make the company one of the largest pot producers in the country. 

Eve & Co. Incorporated has secured a $18.7 million loan to add an extra 1-million square feet to its facility west of London. 

When the greenhouse expansion is complete, the company will be able to boost production from 10,000 kg annually to 50,000 kg annually. 


Will Ontario cannabis shops be ready for April 1? For some owners it’s touch and go

When Clint Seukeran spotted the email revealing he would be among the first Ontarians to get the chance to open a cannabis store, he thought the missive was spam.

Then his brother took a peek and pointed out it was real.

“My first reaction was shock, but then I realized we have a lot of work to do,” said Seukeran, who owns a coconut water distribution company, but has never dabbled in the cannabis business.

“I knew I was a fish out of water.”

He quickly set to work, choosing a Brampton plaza for his Ganjika House store, but with under three weeks until opening day, he said finishing construction and hiring staff were still on his to-do list.


Greenline POS services The Niagara Herbalist, first licenced Ontario cannabis retailer

The Niagara Herbalist is the first licenced cannabis retailer in Ontario, and after careful consideration they have chosen Greenline POS as their compliant inventory management solution.

“We chose Greenline POS because their team had the most working knowledge about real life cannabis retail operations out of all the POS systems we looked at.”

– Kevin (co-owner of The Niagara Herbalist)

For new cannabis retailers, opening up shop can be an exciting but stressful time. Greenline POS is dedicated to helping stores every step along the way, from initial inspections all the way to the grand opening and beyond.


Edibles legalization fraught with hurdles, lack of clarity, companies say

From the classic pot brownie to cannabis-infused cotton candy, there is no shortage of options for edibles at an illicit dispensary in downtown Toronto.

Among the people lining up to browse and buy, one 34-year-old IT worker chooses gummy bears for what he says is his first-ever edibles purchase. The Toronto man, who did not want to be named, said he preferred edibles over smoking cannabis because he can avoid the pungent smell and partake indoors.

“These are more convenient,” he said, adding that among his friends who are cannabis users, half of them say edibles are their form of choice even though they aren’t legal in Canada yet.


Ontario golf course plans to be first cannabis themed course in Canada

A Canadian golf course is making golf greener than ever.

Rolling Greens, a golf course in Lombard, near Smith’s Falls, will give golfers the chance to enjoy a round of golf while enjoying cannabis on the green.

Director of Entertainment at Rolling Greens Gordon Weiske told sources that the organization is calling itself “Canada’s first cannabis-themed golf and entertainment destination.”

“When legalization was announced, we looked at how to approach this,” said Weiske. “Everybody wants to be a licensed grower or seller, so we thought, ‘why don’t we look after the tourist and entertainment market?’ We thought a great concept would be a golf course. You’ve got 164 acres, go out and enjoy yourself.”


Ontario unlikely to meet promise of 25 cannabis shops by April 1, analysis shows

Ontario is unlikely to meet its target of having 25 privately owned cannabis shops open by April 1, an analysis of licence applications shows.

Four of the lottery winners who won the right to apply for the coveted first wave of licences haven’t even announced their locations yet.

For those four, from Toronto and the GTA, the deadline looks impossible. The public is allowed 15 days to comment after locations are posted. Lottery winners have five days to reply to those comments. That’s a total of 20 days, and as of Thursday there were only 17 days remaining until April 1.

For another five stores, the public comment period ends between March 19 and March 27, which is tight timing.


Region bypassed in cannabis store lottery

Waterloo Region won't get a legal marijuana store until at least the end of 2019, after being bypassed in Ontario's cannabis retail licence lottery.

The seventh and final retail licence application for the province's west region was announced Wednesday by an operator in Hamilton.

All proposed cannabis shop licences are subject to approval by the Alcohol and Gaming Commision of Ontario.

If they're approved, the lottery system designed to award the first wave of 25 cannabis store licences across the province will have given three stores to London, two to Hamilton and one each to St. Catharines and Niagara Falls.


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