People are asking how it is that the AGCO is authorizing cannabis retail stores that will open under the name of a company that had not been selected in the Expression of Interest lottery.

To be clear, the lottery provided all interested and eligible participants an equal opportunity to be selected to apply for one of the first 25 available store authorizations. Once selected, applicants have to comply with all of the Lottery Rules, including those related to maintaining ownership and control of their business. They also have to meet all of the eligibility criteria set out in the Cannabis Licence Act, 2018 and its regulation, including specific rules and restrictions about affiliation to others. As long as all of these requirements are complied with, nothing prevents the selected applicants from entering into agreements with other parties for support in operating their private retail store. This could include entering into trademark agreements that allow an applicant to open their store using another company’s brand.

Before issuing a licence to an operator, the AGCO undertakes a comprehensive eligibility assessment of the applicant and all interested parties to ensure all legal and regulatory requirements have been met. If at any time the Registrar receives new information and determines that an applicant has not followed the rules of the lottery, that Applicant will be disqualified, which includes revoking their licence and authorization if they have already been issued. 

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