The Ontario authorities introduced on Wednesday it’s transferring ahead with the following part of cannabis legalization with plans to open 50 extra Ontario Hashish Shops (OCS) by the autumn.
The Alcohol and Gaming Fee of Ontario (AGCO) will host a lottery for 42 of the shops to find out who will likely be allowed to open them, much like the method completed for the primary batch of shops.
The opposite eight shops will likely be situated on First Nations reserves and will likely be designated by way of a first-come, first-served course of.
To grow to be eligible for the lottery for the 42 shops, candidates should submit an expression of curiosity on-line to the AGCO that will likely be accessible by August 20. The outcomes of the lottery will likely be introduced the following day, in keeping with Lawyer Basic Doug Downey.
In contrast to the earlier OCS lottery that was not merit-based, this lottery would require candidates to show they’ve applicable retail area and sufficient capital to open a retailer to make sure their “readiness.”
The primary OCS rollout has been a sluggish one, with the Ontario authorities solely handing out 25 spots, citing cannabis provide shortages. Solely 10 shops met the April 1 deadline — 22 have opened to this point.
The Ontario authorities says it’s urging the federal authorities to take steps to extend the quantity of provide accessible with a view to supply a pretty choice towards the unlawful market.
Nevertheless, provide points nonetheless exist which have induced a restrict to the variety of new Ontario cannabis shops.
“Whereas the federal provide points persist, we can not in good conscience problem a vast variety of licenses to companies,” Downey stated in an announcement. “A phased-in method stays crucial.”
Alberta jurisdictions with a community of bodily shops noticed 80-95 p.c of cannabis gross sales in these places happening at a retailer, in keeping with Allan Rewak, VP of communications at Emerald Well being Therapeutics and the previous govt director on the Hashish Council of Canada.
“I believe loads of that speaks to the patron expertise the folks need and anticipate,” he stated. “[It is] the comfort of with the ability to go in, make your buy and go away, versus ready between two enterprise days and two weeks [with online purchases].”
OCS places at the moment are permitted in any municipality no matter inhabitants measurement, in keeping with the assertion.
13 shops are deliberate for the Toronto Area, six shops for the Higher Toronto Space (GTA), seven shops for jap Ontario, 11 shops for western Ontario and 5 for northern Ontario.