The Government of Ontario has announced changes to the allocation of cannabis retail licensing. Read the full text of the government’s announcement.

As the government has indicated, given the shortage of legal cannabis supply from federally licensed producers, it has changed the approach to how private retail stores will be allocated.  Due to this limited supply, the government will allow private cannabis retail stores to open in phases, by providing authority for the AGCO to license up to 25 stores in the initial phase.

The government has made a new regulation under the Cannabis Licence Act, 2018 that allows a lottery system to be implemented to determine who will be able to apply for one of the 25 initial stores. The AGCO will run the lottery and it will be overseen by a third-party fairness monitor. People who wish to participate in the lottery will do so by submitting Expressions of Interest, online, from January 7-9, 2019. As a result, the AGCO will not begin accepting applications for cannabis retail licences and authorizations on December 17, as had previously been announced.

As a next step, the AGCO will be moving ahead to retain the services of a third-party fairness monitor and will provide them with the rules of the lottery. At that point, we will publish the lottery rules to our website and send out a notification as soon they are available. We will also plan a webinar to clearly explain the lottery rules and procedures. The webinar will be scheduled for the first week of January. We will provide further details on the date and how to register for that webinar as soon as they are confirmed.

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