The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) is launching an open call for cannabis retail training programs.
Currently, the only approved training program is CannSell. Through this open call process, interested entities can submit an application for approval of their proposed cannabis training program in Ontario. Up to two additional programs may be approved by the AGCO Board for a five-year term, beginning April 1, 2024.
Key dates for the call for proposals include:
- June 6, 2023: Open call for proposals launches
- September 1, 2023: Deadline to submit an application
- November 2023: Shortlisted applicants will be notified by the AGCO
- April 2024 and onward: Approved programs begin offering training
As the regulator of authorized cannabis retail stores in Ontario, the AGCO plays a critical role in ensuring that the retail sale of cannabis is carried out with honesty, integrity and in the public interest. All cannabis retail employees, managers and store authorization holders are required to successfully complete an AGCO Board approved cannabis retail employee training program prior to their first day of work in the store.
Prospective cannabis retail training programs seeking AGCO Board approval must be offered online and provide learners with the knowledge they will need to sell cannabis safely, responsibly and in compliance with Ontario law and the Registrar’s Standards for Cannabis Retail Stores. The prospective programs should also provide foundational knowledge about cannabis, to ensure those who are selling it understand its various forms and effects of use.
More information about program requirements, evaluation criteria, and a step-by-step guide on how to submit an application can be found on the AGCO’s engagement portal, Connect AGCO. The French version of the engagement portal can be found here.