There are some places where you cannot open a cannabis retail store.  More information about those rules is provided below. 

Municipalities:    

Ontario municipalities had a one-time option to opt out of having cannabis retail stores in their communities. They had until January 22, 2019 to notify the AGCO that their council had passed a resolution to opt out of having cannabis retail stores. Municipalities that choose to opt out can opt back in at any time—but once they have opted in, they may not reverse their decision. 

Therefore, cannabis retail stores cannot be located in a municipality that has passed a resolution prohibiting cannabis retail stores from being located in the municipality.  

  • If a municipality decided not to allow cannabis retail stores, they must have informed the AGCO about their decision by January 22, 2019.  
  • The AGCO’s website has a list of municipalities that have decided not to allow cannabis retail stores.  
  • Municipalities that have opted-in may not create a licensing system respecting the sale of cannabis nor pass a bylaw that distinguishes land or building use for cannabis from any other kinds of use. 
  • The fact that your application is accepted does not guarantee that it will be approved. Determining that a retail store authorization application meets all retail location requirements is made on the basis of the information available at the time of the expected issuance of the retail store authorization and not at the time of the application.

Near Schools:  

Things to Know Before You Begin:

As an applicant, it is your responsibility to ensure your proposed retail store location meets school proximity and other requirements at all times throughout your entire application review. 

The submission of your application does not guarantee approval. The determination that an RSA application satisfies all retail location requirements is made based on information available at the time of issuance of the RSA and not at the time of submission of the application through iAGCO.

The use of iAGCO to check the eligibility of a potential retail location is not advice and does not function as a substitute for an Applicant’s continued due diligence. 

Please note that changes to an applicant’s proposed location requires submission of a new application. Application fees are non-refundable.

The Registrar cannot issue an RSA to a proposed cannabis retail store located less than 150 metres from a school or private school, as defined in the Education Act. This will be determined as follows:  

  • when the school or private school is the primary or only occupant of a building, 150 metres shall be measured from the property line of the property on which the school or private school is located.  
  • When the school or private school is not the primary or only occupant of a building, 150 meters shall be measured from the boundary of any space occupied by the school or private school within the building. 

(The above rules do not apply if the private school is located on a reserve or if the private school only offers classes through the Internet.)

How and when does the AGCO Calculate School Proximity?

The AGCO has created an exclusion map using third party school location data provided by the Ministry of Education which may prevent submission of applications through iAGCO for locations that may be within 150 metres of a school. Online submission of the application is not a guarantee or confirmation that the proposed location is compliant with the school proximity restriction. The proposed retail location must be in compliance with the school proximity requirement at the time the RSA is issued.

Where a school and/or a proposed cannabis retail store is located above the ground floor elevation of a building, the AGCO will calculate the 150-metre distance as the sum of the combined straight line horizontal and vertical distances (if applicable) between the points identified above.

Please refer to the Education Act for further details and definitions on what is considered a school or private school.

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