On December 13, 2018, the Government of Ontario announced that a temporary cap of 25 Retail Store Authorizations will be imposed while cannabis supply stabilizes. The Government of Ontario remains committed to permitting the opening of cannabis retail stores in Ontario on April 1, 2019.
As set out in Ontario Regulation 468/18, the Government of Ontario gave the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) the mandate to hold a lottery to determine who may apply for Retail Operator Licences.
AGCO has established Expression of Interest Lottery Rules (Rules) with the specific intent to:
- conduct a lottery that provides a fair and transparent opportunity for potential operators to apply for a licence to operate a cannabis retail store
- support the government’s objective of providing a safe, legal alternative to the illegal market by having licensed operators open cannabis retail stores on April 1, 2019
- regulate licensed retail operators in the public interest.
The Expression of Interest Lottery covers a period of time from January 2, 2019, when the Rules are published, to December 13, 2019, when Ontario Regulation 468/18 will be amended. This period of time is referred to as the “Lottery Process” and is the timeframe established by the government for the temporary cap of 25 Retail Store Authorizations while cannabis supply stabilizes.