The provincial government has announced they will be moving to an open market for retail cannabis stores starting in the new year.
This decision, which comes into effect January 2020, will provide safe, convenient options for those looking to purchase cannabis in Ontario.
“In response to the federal government’s decision to legalize cannabis, our government is determined to open the cannabis market as responsibly as possible,” Attorney General Doug Downey said in a news release.
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“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. That is our number one priority,” he continued.
Some of the notable changes to the current cannabis regulations include removing the temporary cap on the number of cannabis stores the province will allow, as well as eliminating the pre-qualification requirements for prospective retailers.
These new regulations will also allow licensed producers to sell their products and open a store in one of their facilities.
Additionally, retailers will also be permitted to sell cannabis-related items, such as cookbooks and magazines.
The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario will begin accepting applications from prospective retailers starting January 6, 2020. Store authorization applications will be open on March 2, 2020, and authorizations are expected to be issued beginning in April 2020 at a rate of 20 per month.
The Province will still require licence holders, cannabis retail managers and, employees to complete provincially-mandated training courses, and licenses will not be given to anyone with certain cannabis-related offences or any association with organized crime.
Additionally, authorized cannabis stores will now be allowed to offer the option for customers to order and pay for products online, and then pick them up in stores.