As you probably know just 5 cannabis retail licenses were awarded to Toronto locations in the first round of the lottery. The lucky winners were allowed to open their doors as of April this year. Some businesses were able to comply and some paid the price for opening late. Despite having all 5 locations open as of today, we can all agree that it's still not enough for a population of 6 million and one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country. Needless to say, when the news came about another 50 cannabis licenses being awarded to Ontario this summer, we got excited.
For anyone who didn't here the news or is still curious about the whole process, here are the main takeaways:
"...an additional fifty (50) cannabis retail stores will be permitted across Ontario, consisting of forty-two (42) in any municipality that has not opted-out of hosting cannabis retail stores, with the exception of the North Region, where a cannabis retail store location must be located in one of five (5) cities. There will be a separate allocation of eight (8) cannabis retail stores on First Nations reserves."
A total of 19 locations will be allocated to Toronto (13) and the surrounding GTA (6) in a lottery that will take place on August 20th. The parameters for entering the lottery are more rigid this time around. Applicants will be required to show they have access to a greater amount of capital and a higher level of business planning in place including appropriate real estate. The one thing that is remaining the same is the initial $75 entry fee.
This new round of licensed cannabis retailers will be able to open their doors as early as October 1st 2019, just in time for the second round of legalization which will add edibles and extracts to the Cannabis Act.
*This is a simplified version of the actual guidelines of the official Cannabis Retail Store Allocation Lottery Rules. If you're interested in the finer details you can read the full document here: