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  • Post Time Posted February 15, 2019
Would-be cannabis retail owners in Ontario have just a few weeks left to pass through intense regulatory restrictions if they hope to start selling product by April.

Some will be unable to open in time to meet the government deadline, and with only a month and a half to go, only eight proposed shops across the province have submitted their retail store applications.

The entire process is, “proving to be tremendously complicated,” says Brenna Boonstra, who oversees the retail licensing group for Cannabis Compliance Inc, an industry consulting firm.

The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario, the province’s cannabis regulator, says it will begin issuing licences as early as March 4. All proposed stores also need to be approved by the province’s government-run supplier, the Ontario Cannabis Store.

Already, one Ontario cannabis lottery winner has been disqualified for breaking a rule that prohibits any changes to the name of the person on an application or the corporate structure of the company operating the store.

With all the deals being cut behind the scenes, Boonstra expects more disqualifications to follow. She believes some lottery winners, with little to no experience or even interest in running a cannabis shop, signed deals that may have breached those rules.

If the candidates fail to open by April 1, they could face stiff financial penalties.

“If you’re coming into this without any experience in cannabis retail, it will be challenging. The likelihood of a misstep is high.”

Source:  https://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2019/02/14/cannabis-retail-shops-are-scrambling-to-open-on-time-across-ontario.html

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