1. If the city opts out, can it opt back in later?
Yes. A municipality may later reverse its decision to prohibit cannabis retail stores; however, a decision to host cannabis retail stores is final and may not be reversed at any time.
2. How can we find out which municipalities have opted in?
The AGCO maintains a list on its website indicating which municipalities have opted in and opted out. This list is updated daily.
3. Is there a way for municipalities/residents to subscribe to receive notifications of new store applications to ensure that the 15 day window for public notice is not missed?
The AGCO will have information available on Retail Store Authorization applications on its iAGCO portal. All Retail Store Authorization applications in the public notice process will be searchable on iAGCO, the AGCO’s online service delivery platform. This information will be updated in real time. It is each municipality’s responsibility to search iAGCO for current authorizations open for public submissions. We are also looking into a solution that will able to provide notifications to municipalities through iAGCO.
4. Does the city have the authority to impose additional location restrictions on top of what the government has already outlined?
No. Provincial legislation prohibits municipalities from passing a by-law that distinguishes land or building use for cannabis from any other kinds of use. Existing municipal requirements in place that apply to all retail use in that respective municipality, would apply to retail cannabis stores.
Additionally, the Government of Ontario announced changes to the allocation of cannabis retail licensing. Due to the shortage of legal cannabis supply the government provided AGCO with authority to license/authorize up to twenty-five (25) private cannabis retail stores. For the purpose of the maximum 25 store authorizations, a lottery conducted on January 11, 2019 to determine who may apply for the 25 Stores. Please refer to O. Reg. 468/18 for additional information.
5. For these first 25 licenses, why did you limit the municipalities where a cannabis retail store may be located to a population of 50,000 or over?
The Government of Ontario has committed to establishing a tightly regulated private retail cannabis model in order to provide a safe, legal alternative to the current illegal market. In order to combat the illegal market as effectively as possible, regulated private cannabis retail stores are initially being allocated to larger communities to increase accessibility.
6. Would you be able to sell from a vehicle like a food truck if the municipality agrees?
No. Retail Store Authorizations apply to physical store locations only. Additionally, the AGCO will not be licensing cannabis delivery services.
7. Is proximity to an addiction center a matter of Public Interest?
The criteria provided in Ontario Regulation 468/18 defines the public interest related to public health and safety, restricting access to youth, and illicit activities. Written submissions from municipalities and residents will need to address how the store location is not acceptable within a distance of another use based on the criteria. Note that there are strict store requirements in place for advertising, visibility of product, and access to the product.