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 taken 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.  

Near Schools:  

A cannabis retail store cannot be located near a school or private school, as defined in the Education Act, if the proposed retail store is less than 150 metres away from the property line of the school or private school. 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 does the AGCO Calculate School Proximity?

To automate iAGCO approvals, the AGCO has created an exclusion map using the latest school location data provided by the Ministry of Education. A proposed cannabis retail store that is located within 150 metres of the boundary of a school or private school is ineligible.

Upon request, AGCO staff can conduct a review of School Proximity Calculation to verify the distance between a proposed cannabis retail store location and a school or private school.  The 150 metre distance is measured by a straight line between the closest point of the proposed retail space to the following point of the school:

  • If 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. 
  • If 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.

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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