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 shall be allowed to open them, much like the method carried out for the primary batch of shops.
The opposite eight shops shall be positioned on First Nations reserves and shall be designated by a first-come, first-served course of.
To turn into eligible for the lottery for the 42 shops, candidates should submit an expression of curiosity on-line to the AGCO that shall be obtainable by August 20. The outcomes of the lottery shall be introduced the following day, in keeping with Legal professional Normal Doug Downey.
Not like the earlier OCS lottery that was not merit-based, this lottery would require candidates to show they’ve applicable retail house 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 obtainable with the intention to provide a beautiful 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’t in good conscience problem an infinite variety of licenses to companies,” Downey stated in a press release. “A phased-in strategy stays mandatory.”
Canadian cannabis customers appear to desire buying cannabis at brick and mortar places moderately than on-line, gross sales knowledge has proven.
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 government director on the Hashish Council of Canada.
“I feel loads of that speaks to the buyer expertise the individuals need and anticipate,” he stated. “[It is] the comfort of having the ability to go in, make your buy and depart, versus ready between two enterprise days and two weeks [with online purchases].”
OCS places are actually permitted in any municipality no matter inhabitants dimension, in keeping with the assertion.
13 shops are deliberate for the Toronto Area, six shops for the Larger Toronto Space (GTA), seven shops for jap Ontario, 11 shops for western Ontario and 5 for northern Ontario.