Ontario’s debut of store-front cannabis shops are set to open their doors next week, on Monday April 1st. Some of the 25 licence holders, however, are still wading through the lengthy approval process and might not be ready for business.
The catch is that anybody who doesn’t open for busienss on Monday could face penalties while the Government vows not to rush the vetting process.
Only 10 of the 25 stores have their licenses in hand while another 10 have completed their consultation periods. “It’s difficult to predict” how many stores will actually be open on April 1st says spokesman Ray Kahnert from AGCO. “The AGCO will only licence operators and authorize stores once we are satisfied they have met all legal and regulatory requirements.”
NDP deputy leader Sara Singh said the government has “botched” the retail store launch by not giving lottery winners enough time to open their stores.
“What this is actually doing is pushing people to the illegal market for their cannabis,”
The Tory government had initially said there would be no cap on the number of retail pot shops after cannabis was legalized. But in December, citing national supply issues, it said it was initially issuing licences for just 25 stores so operators could open for business on April 1.
Meanwhile other provinces like Nova Scotia have had storefront Cannabis for sale since October 17th.
Cover photo : Wikiepedia Commons