May 19, 2020

On May 14, 2020, the Government of Ontario announced that retailers would be permitted to open or expand their services starting Tuesday, May 19, 2020, as part of the first stage of the government’s reopening framework. This announcement applies to cannabis retail stores as well.

Starting today, AGCO-authorized cannabis retail stores are permitted to open to the public and and expand retail operations to include in-person sales.

Cannabis retail store owners/operators are reminded that retail businesses must follow public health guidelines:

  • Business owners must ensure workplaces are safe for staff, consumers and the general public.
  • Retail services must have measures in place that can enable physical distancing. This includes limiting the number of customers in the store at any one time and booking appointments beforehand or on the spot. For example, retailers would need to restrict the number of customers per square metre (one customer per 4 square metres (43 square feet) to ensure physical distancing of 2 metres at all times.
  • Businesses must follow public health measures and should review the government’s workplace safety guidelines. This includes frequent handwashing, sanitizing surfaces, installing physical barriers, staggering shifts, and using contactless payment options to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Today, the government also extended the Emergency Order to temporarily allow privately owned cannabis stores to offer curbside pickup and home delivery until May 29, 2020.

We will continue to publish new information as the situation evolves.

Helpful Resources

Ministry of Health & Long Term Care COVID-19 Guidance: Essential Workplaces

Ministry of Health & Long Term Care Covid-19 Retail Health & Safety Guidance

The Workplace PPE Supplier Directory is a government website that provides businesses with information on personal protective equipment (PPE) suppliers; it has an up-to-date list of Ontario companies and business associations that are ready to supply personal protective equipment.

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