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Money Ontario removing cap on number of pot shops, opening up market for retailers

11:00  13 december  2019
11:00  13 december  2019 Source:   cbc.ca

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Ontario is removing the cap on the number of pot shops in the province and nixing some qualification requirements for would-be retailers in a bid to clamp down on the number of illegal stores, sources tell CBC News. As part of the move , the province says it will be issuing approximately 20 new

The Ontario government has announced steps to allow more cannabis retail stores to open in these goals, the government said that it will eliminate the temporary cap on the number of private stores and cancel the LP's will now be able to open up a storefront at one of their facilities. Under the new rules, retailers The largest market in Canada is about to get 20 new pot shops a month beginning in April.

Cannabis© Richard Vogel Cannabis Ontario is removing the cap on the number of pot shops in the province and nixing some qualification requirements for would-be retailers in a bid to clamp down on the number of illegal stores, sources tell CBC News.

Attorney General Doug Downey announced details of the changes weeks after the government first signalled its intention to open the cannabis market.

Downey said the lottery system, first implemented to help the emerging retail market contend with a major supply shortage, and since criticized as a cumbersome process preventing the province from staying competitive, will be eliminated on Jan. 1.

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Provincial limits on pot shops are holding back sales growth and disruption of the black market Aurora generated .2 million in revenue in its fiscal second quarter, up 363 per cent from the A scant number of storefronts has made buying cannabis in-person a challenge in large parts of the

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As part of the move, the province says it will be issuing approximately 20 new cannabis store authorizations starting in April 2020.

"In response to the federal government's decision to legalize cannabis, our government is determined to open the cannabis market as responsibly as possible," said Downey in a news release. "We have said all along that opening more legal stores is the most effective way to combat the illicit market, protect our kids and keep our communities safe."

Until now, prospective retailers were required to demonstrate having a $50,000 letter of credit and pay a $6,000 non-refundable fee as part of their application, which had to be submitted within five days of being picked through a lottery system.

Lawyers for several disqualified shops had disputed whether the qualifications were fair.

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Ontario ’s decision to not cap the number of privately-operated cannabis shops has been welcomed by industry players The province’s private- retail framework is positive for smaller retailers who won’t get squeezed out, said Trina Fraser Ontario won’t set limit on number of private marijuana stores.

This will severely limit the number of stores that will initially be open in Toronto, or any city, for that Markham has also closed the door to pot shops . Brampton council has not yet decided whether to Opting out would mean giving up that second payment, said licensing executive director Tracey Cook.

Anyone with criminal convictions on certain cannabis-related offences or those who have ties to organized crime will still be barred from getting a licence. Managers and employees at licensed retailers will also be required to complete approved training.

Individual companies will also be allowed to own up to 75 retail stores by September 2021.

The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario will begin accepting applications from prospective retailers on Jan. 6.

The new rules will also allow legal cannabis producers to enter the retail market by opening shops on their premises.

Downey said the primary issue that made the lottery necessary no longer applies.

"The supply issue has been resolved," he said. "We have some really good fundamentals in terms of rules and regulations, and we've seen them work."

The supply shortfall and the lottery system kept the government well shy of its stated goal of having as many as 1,000 cannabis retailers throughout the province. The first lottery saw just 25 licenses issued province-wide, with a further 50 awarded in a second round.

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Ontario 's decision to not cap the number of privately-operated cannabis shops has been welcomed by industry players, but market share restrictions on licensed And even for those who meet the retail license requirements, where retailers will be permitted to set up provincial pot shops remains hazy.

TORONTO — Ontario ’s decision to not cap the number of privately-operated cannabis shops has been welcomed by industry players, but market share restrictions on licensed While there will not be a cap on private pot shops — as there is in some other provinces — Ontario officials have reserved

Critics have described the system as excessively slow, arguing the lack of private retail options has prevented the province from making inroads against the illegal weed market.

A group of rejected pot-shop applicants spoke out against the lottery system in court, critiquing the application process in a legal challenge that was ultimately dismissed.

Ontario's opposition parties did not immediately respond to request for comment.

Cannabis consultant Omar Khan hailed the move as a positive step. He said it will help eradicate the illegal market and provide consumers with access to safe and regulated products.

Khan said the price of legal pot will be a key factor.

"As the government moves forward with this new licensing system it should also look at ways to enhance the online consumer experience and find ways to empower retailers to be better able to compete with illegal operators on price," he said in a statement.

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