EASTERN, Ontario – On July 3, the Ontario government announced that it was issuing a new batch of private cannabis store licenses, seven of which will be issued in the Eastern Ontario area.
The province has also lifted the restriction on population size. In April of 2019, when the first batch of 25 licenses was announced, they came with the caveat that the licenses would only be issued to municipalities with populations of 100,000 residents or more.
“Despite the ongoing federal cannabis supply shortages, Ontario is taking further action to protect young people, keep our roads and communities safe and combat the illegal market in response to the federal government’s decision to legalize cannabis,” said Attorney General Doug Downey. “While the federal supply issues persist, we cannot in good conscience issue an unlimited number of licences to businesses. A phased-in approach remains necessary.”
There will be 42 licenses in total available across the province that will be distributed via lottery. Interested parties can apply for a private cannabis vendor license through the Alcohol and Gaming Commission (AGCO) website.
Licenses will now be available to anyone planning to operate in a municipality that has decided to opt-in and allow cannabis sales.
Cornwall, and neighbouring municipalities of South Glengarry and South Stormont have all opted-in and chosen to allow cannabis stores within their jurisdictions.
The province has also announced that it will be granting eight private cannabis store licenses to First Nations reserves on a first come, first served basis.
By October 2019, the province expects to start issuing the licenses to approved private vendors.