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Ontario Now Accepting Applications for Retail Cannabis Licenses

January 7, 2019
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TORONTO — Applications are now being accepted from those looking to enter a lottery to apply for the first 25 retail cannabis licenses in Ontario.

The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) began to accept expressions of interest on its website at 12:01 a.m. today and will take applications until noon Wednesday.

The draw for the licenses will take place on Friday and results are expected to be announced within 24 hours.

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Ontario to Implement Lottery to Phase in Cannabis Retail

There is a $75 fee to submit an expression of interest and those selected through the lottery will have five business days to turn in their application along with a $6,000 non-refundable fee and a $50,000 letter of credit.

The commission says the rules have been established to encourage the opening of retail cannabis stores by April 1—the first day they will be allowed in Ontario—and those who are not committed to meeting that deadline should not sign up for the lottery.

As previously reported, the lottery is intended as a temporary model for issuing private retail licenses amidst nationwide supply shortages. In Quebec, the shortage of cannabis has prompted the SQDC to reduce operating hours to just four days a week. Meanwhile, in Alberta, the province has stopped issuing new licenses because the province has only received “20% of the stock it ordered from federally licensed producers.”

Legal, adult-use cannabis is currently only available for purchase Ontario through a government-run website.

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