Friday, April 21, 2023

On April 19, 2023, the City of Mississauga opted in to permitting authorized cannabis retail stores in its municipality. As the open market for cannabis retail stores grows in Ontario, the AGCO continues to work steadily to ensure that they can open and operate with honesty, integrity and in the public interest. 

With the City of Mississauga joining the regulated market, the AGCO is ready to handle the expected increase in new applications for cannabis retail store authorizations. It is expected that new store applications will be entering the public notice process in the weeks and months ahead.  

The AGCO is providing helpful resources for prospective cannabis retailers to understand the licensing process, and for the public to know how they can share their views with the AGCO before a retail store is authorized.  

Resources for prospective cannabis retailers 

  • For information about the application process and other regulatory and legal aspects of operating a cannabis retail store, consult the Cannabis Retail Regulation Guide. In this guide you will find the relevant information about the cannabis legislation and regulations in Ontario as well as the Registrar’s Standards for Cannabis Retail Stores. 

  • For any questions related to the process of getting a Retail Store Authorization, please refer to the Cannabis Retailer Journey Map that outlines the step-by-step process of opening a licensed cannabis retail store in Ontario. 

  • When considering a location for your store, you may wish to view the AGCO’s interactive map that shows the location and address for all authorized and prospective (i.e. stores for which the AGCO has received an application) retail stores. This map is updated daily. 

Resources for the public 

  • Residents in the municipality of a proposed cannabis store location have an opportunity to share their views with the AGCO before a retail store is authorized. A cannabis Retail Store Authorization may be issued to an applicant unless the Registrar finds it is not in the public interest.Ontario’s Cannabis Licence Act (CLA) defines that the only areas of public interest the Registrar may consider are matters related to public health and safety, protecting youth and restricting their access to cannabis, and preventing illegal activities in relation to cannabis.  

  • Please note that proximity to cannabis retail stores or other types of locations are not matters of public interest as defined in the regulation. Under the CLA, authorized cannabis retail stores can be located anywhere that other retail operations are permitted, provided they are compliant with the provincial school distance buffer, which is a minimum distance of 150 meters between a cannabis retail store and schools, as defined in the Education Act, including public schools, private, and federally-funded First Nation schools off-reserve. The eligibility review is an efficient but thorough process. Before issuing a licence to any operator, the AGCO undertakes a comprehensive assessment of the applicant and all interested parties, including police and background checks. The AGCO will only license applicants who meet all legal and regulatory requirements 

  • Information on how to file a written submission can be found on our website. 

  • The AGCO has a subscription service that allows individuals to sign up for email notifications when a new application is undergoing public notice; it is possible to specify the locations you would like to be notified about. 

  • The AGCO hosts a map that shows all proposed and authorized cannabis retail stores in Ontario and where they are located. You can find the same information using this table. 

  • If you wish to see a list of Ontario municipalities prohibiting or allowing cannabis retail stores, please visit this webpage.   

If you have any questions about how to locate a cannabis store undergoing public notice and file a written submission through the iAGCO Online Services or need more information, you can contact the AGCO’s Customer Service at 416-326-8700 / 1-800-522-2876 (toll-free in Ontario) or use the Webchat option located at the bottom right of AGCO’s cannabis webpages.  

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