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.


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.


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.


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. 


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.


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. 


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.”


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.”


Subscribe to RSS - Ontario