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So you are a winner in Ontario’s second cannabis retail license lottery — congratulations! You and 41 other applicants are now positioned to break into the biggest cannabis customer marketplace in all of Canada.
Now that you have won the lottery, it is time for the actual perform to commence. All applicants want to be ready to open for enterprise in October 2019, and there’s a great deal to be carried out among now and then. We’re breaking it all down for you in today’s post.
The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) has released its timeline for cannabis retail authorization applicants. After you have been notified by the AGCO of your lottery win, you will want to:
- Undergo the Public Notice procedure at your retail place.
- Officially apply for and be issued a Retail Operator Licence. Applications should include things like any agreements with third parties as effectively as disclosure info for all interested parties in the enterprise for eligibility critiques.
- Prepare your shop and make certain it meets all requirements.
- Get a Retail Retailer Authorization from the AGCO.
- Enter into a wholesale agreement with the Ontario Cannabis Retailer (OCS).
- Order and get OCS item.
- Pass the AGCO’s pre-opening inspection.
The AGCO has published far more info on the cannabis licensing and application procedure on its site.
In addition to getting conscious of and adhering to the AGCO’s guidelines, regulations, and timelines, there are numerous other moving components involved in rolling out your new cannabis retail shop. Under are six big considerations you will want to address ahead of the October launch date.
1. Constructing Your Workforce
Recruiting your retail shop personnel is a essential job that must not be taken lightly. Your employees members are the heart and soul of your operation, and they play the greatest aspect in the general consumer encounter. Use our cannabis retail job description template to aid you locate certified, group-oriented personnel.
Also, any one who operates in an Ontario cannabis shop should undergo a criminal background verify and effectively full an AGCO board-authorized cannabis retail employee education system just before their initially day of perform. This requirement extends to all Retail Retailer Authorization holders, Cannabis Retail Manager License holders, and cannabis retail shop personnel.
two. Creating Your Promoting Program
In spite of Ontario’s enormous cannabis customer marketplace, a “build it and they will come” method is not most likely to yield the outcomes you are searching for. In truth, with far more than 50 competitive retailers all vying for the exact same enterprise, a effectively-created promoting tactic is even far more vital.
The easiest location to begin is with competitive analysis. What are the initially-round retail license holders performing with their branding and promoting? From there, you can commence to define what will distinguish you from all the other retailers in Ontario.
Of course, you will want to maintain in thoughts the cannabis promoting and marketing restrictions in Canada as you create your strategy. You can also locate far more actionable guidance as effectively as the dos and don’ts of promoting in our post on how to marketplace a cannabis retail shop.
three. Sourcing Item
The Ontario Cannabis Retailer (OCS) is the only legal wholesaler of cannabis for private retail retailers in Ontario. This indicates you will want to have your wholesale account set up and prepared to go prior to opening your store’s doors in October.
four. Arranging Retailer Style
When designing your shop, you will want to contemplate each the AGCO’s specifications for cannabis retailers as effectively as verified shop design and style greatest practices. Legally, the retail space should adhere to the following recommendations:
- The space should be enclosed by walls separating it from any other industrial establishment or activity.
- The space can not be entered from or passed by means of in order to access any other industrial establishment or activity, other than a typical region of an enclosed purchasing mall.
You will also want to make certain that any building or renovations you take on do not extend previous the October deadline. This indicates avoiding building of load bearing walls, due to the fact just acquiring a developing permit can take up to 3 months. Rather, concentrate on the front-of-property components like the vestibule, counter tops, displays, shelving, and so on. SevenPoint Interiors do a bang-up job bringing cannabis retail design and style ideas to life.
In the back of the property, you will want a vault or secured inventory storage space with access below AGCO compliance recommendations. A break space and/or workplace space must also be priorities.
five. Safety and Insurance coverage
Naturally, physical safety is yet another big aspect of the cannabis retail rollout. Beneath AGCO regulations, cannabis retailers should have a safe, higher-resolution surveillance method in location at all occasions. Cannabis solutions should be stored securely and only accessible by employees, and all points of access to the premises should be safe and protected against unauthorized access.
Also, you will want to verify into acquiring insurance coverage to safeguard your shop against losses due to liability, break-in, or breakdown of machinery.
six. Operations and POS
Lastly, you will want to organize your store’s operations. This contains having your Wi-Fi world-wide-web connection and network up, operating, and supporting your enterprise specifications. You will want to contemplate access points and hot spots to extend the network connectivity as a great deal as attainable.
Of course, the appropriate cannabis retail computer software can aid you streamline operations, maintain tight handle more than inventory, and energy digital menu boards and consumer kiosks all at the exact same time.
Right here at Cova, we’ve worked with 90 % of the Ontario retailers authorized to sell recreational cannabis in the initially half of 2019 — which indicates we know specifically what you are going by means of as you prepare to launch this October. Our sector-top point of sale gives you the tools necessary to give your buyers an unforgettable encounter and maintain them coming back for far more.
To schedule a cost-free demo and see specifically what Cova can do for you, speak to us currently!