The Ontario government announced it willthe Alcohol, Gaming and Gaming Commission of Ontario will hold a second lottery for 42 REC retail license, while the government itself will develop eight REC retailers in First Nations on a first-come, first-served basis. The combined 50 new REC retailers will begin opening in October. An infographic explains the timeline, while the rules are over here.
Ontario Gov, AGCO, National Post, The Star Twitter, AGCO

  • The new lottery will take place on August 20, but Expression of Interest applications must be submitted between August 7 and 8:00pm August 9.
    The Leaf
  • The application period for eight stores in First Nations stores begins earlier, on July 31, and requires the support of a Band Council resolution approving a REC store in the community. Aspiring REC retailers on Reserve would require no working capital or letter of credit.
  • Those who participated in the last lottery will not get priority, and will have to submit new applications and pay new fees.
    Twitter—Matt Columbro
  • Lottery applicants must show a bank letter stating they have access to $250,000, another bank letter showing they can get a $50,000 line of credit, and a letter securing retail space. They’ll also be vetted to make certain they’re ready to open a store. Vetting will take place between August 10 and 19, and the lottery will follow on August 20.
  • Vetting will not be merit-based.
    Globe and Mail
  • Brock University’s Michael J Armstrong said, “This time, the government’s rules will screen out most of the unprepared entries that seemed common in the first lottery. One side effect is that they’ll screen out ‘mom and pop’ entrepreneurs who have retail experience but little liquid cash; i.e. the classic small retailer.”
    Globe and Mail
  • Ontario has not yet finished opening its first 25 stores, which were all supposed to open on April 1. With news this week the Oshawa REC store previously known as Tripsetter, then as Fabulous Leaf, received a license to open as Tokyo Smoke Oshawa.
  • That brings Ontario’s total REC retailers to 23.

The lottery for 42 non–First Nations REC retail licences will be broken into five geographic segments.

  • The AGCO notified existing REC retailers they’ll be able to sell their stores after December 13.
    Twitter—Matt Maurer
  • The Ontario government continues to stress it is limited in the number of stores it can open by what it calls “federal supply issues.” Reuters
  • Bill Blair argued there was plenty of REC available in the rest of the country. In a statement, Blair said, “With the notable exception of Ontario, the rest of the country has made steady progress in displacing the illicit market with licensed and regulated retail stores. While the rest of the country made progress, the Ford government made excuses. [… The Ontario government spent] months of blaming an inept approach on a non-existent supply shortage.”
    CBC News

Quick Hits

  1. Saskatchewan and Manitoba allow private REC retailers to operate online stores—which means those provinces will be the first to offer same-day REC delivery. Some services like Pineapple Express handle delivery directly, while others, like Super Anytime, connect retailers with such services.
    Financial Post
  2. In the years leading up to legalization, BC residents consumed far and away the most cannabis in Canada. Between 2013 and 2017, 23% of BC residents above the age of 15 reported using cannabis, versus the national average of 15%.
    604 Now
  3. Inuvik, NWT, passed a bylaw prohibiting REC retailers in its “downtown corridor,” which is what it’s calling the stretch of MacKenzie Road between the Inuvik Hospital and Ingamo Hall. The goal is to keep REC retailers away from youth heading to and from school.
    CBC North