Ontario government opts for ‘phased approach’ to retail cannabis stores
The province will issue up to 25 licences ahead of the first day of private retail sales in order to help stem "severe supply shortages''
TORONTO – The Ontario government says it plans to take a “phased approach” to introducing retail cannabis stores, with only a handful of licences being handed out at first.
In a statement Thursday evening, the province says it will issue up to 25 licences ahead of the first day of private retail sales on April 1.
It says the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario will implement a lottery system to determine who is eligible for the initial licences, with the results announced in January.
The province’s Tory government says it was compelled to implement the phased approach due to “severe supply shortages” being experienced by cannabis outlets across the country.
The announcement comes on the same day councillors in Toronto and Ottawa voted to allow privately operated retail stores to open within their boundaries.
The only legal way for Ontario residents to currently acquire recreational weed is through a government-run website, the Ontario Cannabis Store, which has experienced its own shortages.