On July 3, 2019, Rod Phillips, Minister of Finance, and Doug Downey, Attorney General, announced that the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO), the provincial regulator for cannabis retail storefronts, would be conducting a second lottery for 42 private cannabis retail store authorizations.
No exact locations were provided, however, it was revealed that the next few stores would be in the East Region (seven stores), GTA Region (six stores), Toronto Region (13 stores), West Region (11 stores), and the North Region (one store in each of the following cities: Kenora, North Bay, Sault Ste. Marie, Thunder Bay, and Timmins).
However, according to a recent AGCO press release, 42 applicants have since been notified that they can apply for a cannabis retail store authorization.
Applicants have until Aug. 28, 2019, to apply. Once they have done so, the AGCO will proceed with its full eligibility and licensing review.
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The new private cannabis retail stores will be authorized upon meeting all requirements and approved to open on a rolling basis, beginning in October 2019.
And, as noted in a previous inhalton article, two applicants have proposed locations in Burlington.
One applicant, Cory Floyd Cacciavillani, has proposed a store location at 1025 Plains Rd. E., and another applicant, 2674620 Ontario Limited, has proposed a store location at 1505 Guelph Line (Unit 3 – 4).
And in a recent blog post on her website, Burlington Mayor Marianne Meed Ward weighed in on these two proposed locations. And there are some issues with the proposed location on Guelph Line.
Despite, the location being more than 150 metres from the nearby M.M. Robinson High School, the location does not meet criteria outlined by the city, nor the resolution that was brought forward by the subcommittee of the Large Urban Mayors Caucus of Ontario (LUMCO).
In both the criteria and resolution, it is mentioned that a potential store should try to maintain a minimum 500-metre buffer distance from areas of concern, like schools.
With that said, Meed Ward notes that the proposed location on Guelph Line is not ideal for a cannabis store. However, Meed Ward still supports having cannabis stores in the city in general.
“I continue to support regulated cannabis stores in Burlington to give our residents safe, legal access to this product, and help combat black market sales,” Meed Ward said in the blog post. “In consultation with the Halton Regional Police Service during the decision-making process, I learned that cannabis products purchased outside a regulated market are sometimes laced with illegal drugs, such as opioids. I also heard directly from residents, including many seniors, who have switched to cannabis for pain management and have gotten off opioids that are highly addictive and lethal.”
As noted in the blog post, once the province gives notice that the opportunity for commenting is open, the city will submit feedback regarding the proposed locations.
Do you think Burlington needs two more cannabis stores?