TORONTO – The Ontario government is poised to introduce legislation today governing the licensing and regulation of the province’s private cannabis retail marketplace.
The Progressive Conservative government says the bill will make the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario the regulator for the recreational pot marketplace.
It will have the power to grant – and potentially revoke – licences as well as enforce provincial rules on cannabis sales.
The province said yesterday that anyone looking to open a pot shop will have to apply for both a retail-operator licence and a retail store authorization for each potential location.
The bill would create a government agency called the Ontario Cannabis Retail Corp. to handle online cannabis sales, with a private retail model scheduled to be in place by next April.
The province has said the agency will also be the wholesaler to private retail stores.
Breaching provincial rules on cannabis sales would preclude someone from ever obtaining a licence in the future, it said.
“Any engagement with organized crime, any record of providing youth cannabis – any of that would bar you from participating in the private cannabis market,” Finance Minister Vic Fedeli said.