Ontario

Thu
24
Jan

Confused American tourists looking for cannabis in Niagara Falls

A couple times a day, Ron from the High Life Head Shop in Niagara Falls has to explain that, no, he does not have weed to sell.

“It’s all American tourists,” said Ron, the store owner, who didn’t want his last name used.

He noted that the tourists are often confused when they are unable to purchase cannabis.

“They’ve heard on the news that weed is legal here, but they don’t know any of the details. They come here thinking they can buy it in the stores, so they come here and then I have to explain that it doesn’t work that way. They usually leave pretty disappointed.”

Thu
24
Jan

Report shows Ontario police writing 21 tickets for cannabis a day

Canada’s federal Cannabis Act legalizes and regulates the possession and sale of marijuana for anyone 18 and above. But the federal law also gives the country’s provincial governments the authority to add their own rules, so long as they’re not more permissive. As a result, some provinces implemented higher age requirements for possessing cannabis, restricted or outright banned private retailers and set limits on public consumption.

Wed
23
Jan

Ontarians' pot use on steady upward trajectory even before legalization: survey

In the year leading up to legalization, there was a significant uptick in the use of cannabis, notably among millennials and people aged 50 and older, a long-running survey has found.

The survey by the Centre for Mental Health and Addiction (CAMH) — called the Monitor — shows the proportion of Ontario adults reporting previous-year marijuana use rose from 15.7 per cent in 2016 to 19.4 per cent in 2017, representing more than two million people.

That 2017 figure also marks a record high following a steady year-over-year rise in use of the previously illicit drug, which more than doubled from almost nine per cent 20 years ago.

Wed
23
Jan

More than half of Ontario municipalities say yes to cannabis stores

Votes in municipalities across Ontario have taken place to decide whether or not to allow recreational cannabis stores in their cities and more than half of the province’s eligible municipalities have said yes to hosting shops.  

 The province set a deadline of 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday for cities to let the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario know if they are choosing to opt in or out.

The province has a total of 444 municipalities but of those, 414 were making decisions on pot shops. Finance Minister Vic Fedeli told sources that giving municipalities the choice was the right thing to do.

“I recall when the Liberal government forces on municipalities wine turbines – you had no choice, they were in your community,” he said.

Thu
17
Jan

More cities opt out of cannabis retail sales in Ontario

Oakville and Brantford have added themselves to the list of Ontario municipalities to opt out of hosting cannabis stores which is likely to add to the difficulty in rolling out a successful recreational market in the province.

Ontario reportedly has had 52 municipalities aside from Oakville and Brantford who have informed the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario as of Wednesday of this week that they will not be allowing retail pot shops in their city for at least the time being.

Many of the municipalities have held town hall meeting where residents can voice their opinion and in many cases, they just don’t feel they’re ready and aren’t confident in the proposed system.

Wed
16
Jan

Pot retailers forced into waiting game after Ontario's licence lottery

Some of Ontario's potential cannabis retailers say they are in wait-and-see mode after the province awarded 25 potential retailers the right to apply for cannabis retail licences on Friday.

The country’s largest cannabis retailer – National Access Cannabis Co. (META.V) - was among the many companies shut out on Friday and its CEO viewed the lottery as a flawed process.

“Taking 25 would-be, hopeful retailers, bringing them in and hoping that they’re going to be successful? That’s very low probability,” said Mark Goliger, the company’s CEO, in an interview with BNN Bloomberg on Monday.

Mon
14
Jan

Small businesses won big in Ontario's cannabis lottery

On Friday Ontario announced the winners of the provinces cannabis retail lottery—and the majority of them are mom and pop shops, writes Calvin Hughes. 

Wed
09
Jan

Former Ontario Regional Chief Isadore Day urges leaders to support cannabis entrepreneurs on First Nations

A former Ontario Regional Chief is putting out a new magazine that he hopes clarifies jurisdictional issues around cannabis legalization and First Nations.

Isadore Day is CEO of a company called Bimaadzwin that focuses on Indigenous nationhood.

The new online publication, called Growth and Prosperity, seems to reflect his optimism about the potential role of retail cannabis sales in Indigenous communities.

Day says the publication will work as a reference that covers areas left blank by governments that failed to include First Nations in designing a retail system to sell legal cannabis.

Wed
09
Jan

London cannabis company says it will franchise if it doesn't win retail pot license lottery

A London, Ont.-based cannabis company says it's ready to franchise if it isn't lucky enough to get its hands on one of 25 private pot retail licences that will be awarded by lottery by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario. 

The AGCO began to accept expressions of interest on its website at 12:01 a.m. Monday and will be taking submissions until noon on Wednesday. 

The draw for 25 licences will take place on Friday, with the results expected to be published by the AGCO within 24 hours. 

The lottery will be conducted using software that has been independently verified by accounting and auditing firm KPMG and a gambling research lab in the United States. 

Tue
08
Jan

Canada: Former black market dealers, established cannabis retailers gearing up for Ontario lottery

A host of applicants — from former grey market dealers to cannabis culture enthusiasts to established cannabis retailers with operations in other provinces — are hoping to get lucky this week as Ontario holds a lottery to determine who will be awarded the province’s highly coveted first tranche of 25 cannabis retail licences.

“I can tell you, for people like us who have been operating in the cannabis community for decades now, this lottery system is great. It doesn’t discriminate,” said one former Toronto-based dispensary owner, who declined to be named. “I’ve followed all the rules — I shut down my online dispensary on Oct. 16, and I’ve been talking to retailers in other sectors who are interested in partnering up with me if I get a licence.”

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