The regulators in Ontario have announced that they will be holding the cannabis retail licenses raffle next Friday, even though municipalities have until Jan. 22 to opt out of hosting cannabis shops.
The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario announced that the application for the cannabis retail licenses will last from Monday to Wednesday.
After those three days pass, the regulators from the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario will select the future license owners via a lottery raffle.
Still not enough to go around
A total of 25 licenses will be handed out in the first wave, and the provincial government hasn’t set a limit on the number of stores.
The government determined in advance how those licenses will be awarded based on the demographics of the province:
- 5 in Eastern Ontario
- 7 in Western Ontario
- 2 in the Northern part
- 6 in the GTA and
- 5 in Toronto itself
However, given the small number of stores, it is not looking likely that these stores will change the situation for thousands of users.
Stores which receive a license through the lottery will have until April 1st to finalize everything and open doors to the public.
If the license recipients aren’t ready to open their store to the public by April 1st they will be forced to pay a fine.
On the other hand, stores in other provinces have been opening since day one of legalization.
The second store in Vancouver was granted its retail license just yesterday, even though it’s 330-times more expensive to get a license there than any other city or town in B.C.
For all those interested in applying for the lottery, there is a $75 fee to submit an expression of interest.
The lucky winners of the lottery will have five business days to turn in their application and a $6,000 non-refundable fee, as well as a $50,000 letter of credit.