Things to Know Before You Begin

Effective January 6, 2020, the AGCO is accepting Retail Operator Licence applications from any interested applicant and will issue a licence to eligible operators immediately upon satisfactory completion of an in depth eligibility assessment.

The AGCO will process applications as they are received. However, the first application received will not necessarily be the first issued as a number of factors determine the length of time to process, including application deficiencies, the number of interested parties to be reviewed, the applicant’s responsiveness in providing required information, the extent of the due diligence investigation required and so on.

The AGCO is committed to processing applications as quickly as possible with the objective of making a legal supply of cannabis more broadly available across Ontario. As regulator, the AGCO’s priorities continue to be ensuring that only eligible applicants are licensed and that licensed operators act with honesty, integrity, and in the public interest, following all laws, regulations and standards.

As a reminder, those who wish to operate a cannabis retail store in Ontario must follow a two-step application process with the AGCO:

  • First, they must qualify for a Retail Operator Licence, which confirms they meet the eligibility criteria set out in the Cannabis Licence Act and its regulations.
  • Second, once licensed, an operator’s proposed physical store(s) must qualify for a Retail Store Authorization, which confirms the store meets the location, layout, security and other requirements set out in the regulations and standards.

Applying for a Retail Operator Licence

To submit your online Retail Operator Licence application via the iAGCO portal, you will need to create an iAGCO account. For more information on how to create an iAGCO account, visit the iAGCO Customer Feedback FAQs page.

See this journey map for a step-by-step process of opening a cannabis retail store. You can also download the infographic version here

You will also need to know your:

  • Applicant Type (Sole Proprietor, Limited Partnership, Partnership, Corporation, Trust)
  • Legal Name
  • Legal Structure (i.e. Privately Held, Publicly Held, Trust, Not-for-Profit)

You will also be required to answer a number of entity and individual disclosure questions and read and sign a Declaration. Once you have created your iAGCO account, you can view the questions and save your application in draft form until you are ready to submit it.

In addition, you will need to provide supporting information by uploading required documents.

If you are applying for a Retail Operator Licence, prior to the Licence being issued (i.e. your licence cannot be issued without the required documentation):

  1. Tax Compliance Verification (TCV) Confirmation Code
    Applicants must provide their Tax Compliance Verification (TCV) confirmation code.  For more information, please refer to the Tax Compliance Verification (TCV) Program
  2. Personal History
    A Personal History (using the form provided on iAGCO) for all employment and/or unemployment (including education, parental leave, etc.) will be required from:
    • Applicants who are Sole Proprietors
    • Individuals who are required to provide disclosure information
  3. Third Party Agreement

Applicants must provide all applicable third party agreements. For more information, please refer to the Supplementary Questionnaire for a list of agreements and details.

To submit an application for a Retail Operator Licence, you must make the non-refundable $6,000 Retail Operator Licence fee payment


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