Ontario postpones retail cannabis licence applications at the eleventh hour

14 December 2018

At 7:30 p.m. on the evening of December 13, effectively one business day before the application portal for Ontario retail cannabis licences was scheduled to open, the Ontario government announced that it will postpone its acceptance of cannabis retail licence applications.



The move was announced as a response to continued supply issues, including legal cannabis shortages across Canada. In a statement issued by Ontario's Ministry of Finance, this shortage was deemed to be a national issue, which "demands an immediate response from Justin Trudeau and the Federal Government."

The AGCO will now be issuing retail licences in phases, with the first 25 licences to be issued through a lottery conducted on January 11, 2019. Applicants are to submit an expression of interest online between January 7 and January 9, 2019, and the first group of licensees will be permitted to open for business on April 1, 2019.

Gowling WLG's Cannabis Group continues to monitor these developments closely. For more information about these changes, please contact any member of our team.


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