On April 7, the AGCO announced it would temporarily pause issuing cannabis Retail Store Authorizations (RSA) during the period of the Government of Ontario’s emergency order on business closures. Since then, the AGCO has been working with the government on ways to support the emergency order and its public health objectives while also supporting the broader objective of building a safe and convenient retail system to combat the illegal market.
Restrictions imposed by the emergency order, including the pause to construction work, have delayed many new retailers in the preparation of their stores. However, the AGCO is aware that certain stores had completed construction prior to the emergency order, and the AGCO will resume issuing RSAs to stores that are complete, in compliance with the emergency order and meet all regulatory requirements. All applicants and stores are expected to comply with applicable regulatory requirements and emergency orders, including those pertaining to construction works.
The receipt of a RSA allows an operator to begin ordering cannabis supply for their store. The store must then pass a final AGCO inspection before it is approved to open. All cannabis retail stores operating during the period of the emergency order can only offer curbside pick-up and delivery services, and must otherwise comply with legislation, the Registrar’s Standards and the emergency order.