Ontario’s 100th Marijuana Retail Store Obtain License

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Ontario-cannabis丨cannabis-health-insider

The records of the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) show that Canada’s largest recreational cannabis market, Ontario, approved the 100th retail store’s authorization this month. However, not all stores are open after completing the regulatory process.

This authorization will be an important milestone in this province since cannabis legalized at the end of 2018, and the cannabis market in this province has lagged behind other regions. Alberta has 483 cannabis retail stores and is a leader in the cannabis market, although the market shows signs of retail saturation.

Ontario-store-authorizations丨mjbizdaily
Ontario-store-authorizations丨mjbizdaily

According to AGCO’s public data, although the pandemic continues, Ontario has accelerated the pace of new store authorization.
In February, 14 new stores received a retail store authorization (RSA), which dropped to 11 in March and rebounded to 18 and 26 in April and May, respectively.

This trend makes Ontario expected to meet or even exceed the original goal of opening 150 stores set by the previous Liberal government in 2020. (The current government has adopted the private store model, but it has been slow to authorize new stores.)

Toronto cannabis lawyer Matt Maurer, who co-chairs the cannabis practice at Torkin Manes, said the AGCO, the Ontario Cannabis Store, and the provincial government all play pivotal roles in the store allocation process.

Toronto cannabis lawyer Matt Maurer, who co-chairs the cannabis practice at Torkin Manes, said the AGCO, the Ontario Cannabis Store, and the provincial government all play pivotal roles in the store allocation process.

“If either the AGCO or the OCS decided to shut down – or the government shut them down – it would have been devastating to the store count for 2020,” he said.

“I think if the government, and I use that term broadly to encompass the provincial government, the AGCO and the OCS, had the collective willpower we could easily see more than 20 stores a month licensed from here on out,” he said.

“But since you need all three, in some shape or form, to sign off on that decision it becomes more difficult to just be decisive, despite the fact that the capacity and capability appears to be there.”

Once the cannabis store meets all regulatory requirements, including passing pre-opening inspections, the cannabis store will appear as “Authorized to Open” on Ontario’s public website.

After issuing a retail store authorization, the store operator can order products from the Ontario wholesaler Ontario Hemp Store.

After the products are in place and the store is ready to meet all other requirements, AGCO will arrange a final pre-opening inspection. If approved, the store operator will receive approval to open the store.

This article is issued by Mjbizdaily.

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