June 24, 2022
To support consumer choice and a level playing field in the legal cannabis industry, the new standards provide clarity with additional detail related to inducement activity between federally licensed producers and retailers.
The AGCO’s compliance team will be engaging in focused compliance activities to ensure licensed retailers are meeting their obligations under the new Standards.
New Inducement Standards: Updated Registrar’s Standards for Cannabis Retail Stores
The updated Standards are consistent with, and further clarify, the prohibition on inducements in the Cannabis Licence Act, 2018:
Standard 6.4 - Licensees may not accept or request material inducements from licensed producers, their representatives, or suppliers of cannabis accessories.
Guidance: inducements are items, benefits, payments, or services that are offered or given with the purpose to promote or increase the sale of a particular brand or product by the licensee or their employees.
Standard 6.5 - Licensees and their representatives may not, either directly or indirectly, accept or enter into any agreements for any item, benefit or service with a licensed producer or their representatives. The following exemptions apply:
Standard 6.6 - Licensees and their representatives may not enter into any agreement pursuant to Standard 6.5 that:
Standard 8.1.10 - When entering into any agreement or accepting any item, benefit or service pursuant to Standard 6.5, a licensee shall maintain the following records:
Retailers must maintain records of all agreements to help the AGCO better understand and monitor these activities over time.
To meet cannabis regulatory requirements under Standard 8.1.10, operators of authorized cannabis retail stores are required to:
- track agreements and acceptance of items, benefits or service (re. Standard 6.5) using the AGCO Cannabis Regulatory Reporting Template for Registrar’s Standard 8.1.10
- make these records available to the AGCO upon request (as with any other records under Standard 8.1).
As the cannabis sector evolves, the AGCO will continue to be responsive, including supporting innovation and flexibility in the sector while regulating in accordance with the principles of honesty and integrity and in the public interest.
For more information
For more information, including examples of what is permissible and what is not, please view the Guidance Document — Inducements Rules for Licensed Cannabis Retailers.
If you have questions or need guidance on complying with the updated Registrar’s Standards for Cannabis Retail Stores, your local Inspectors are available to help and support you with additional information and education. If you are unsure who your Inspector is, or have misplaced their contact information, please email Compliance@agco.ca with your cannabis retail store’s address to get connected.
Cannabis licensees should familiarize themselves with applicable sections of the Cannabis Licence Act and the regulations, and the Registrar’s Standards for Cannabis Retail Stores to ensure they are in compliance.