Government Releases Regulations For Private Cannabis Stores

Wednesday November 14th, 2018

Posted at 8:00pm

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The Government of Ontario has released their regulations for private cannabis stores.

The regulations set out the rules for a private recreational cannabis store system that will begin April 1st, 2019 under the oversight of the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario.

Those regulations are:

  • A minimum distance of 150 metres (approximately 500 feet) between cannabis retail stores and schools, including private and federally-funded First Nation schools off-reserve.
  • Retailers will not be permitted to allow anyone under the age of 19 to enter their stores. This approach and other regulations were developed to address the risk of youth exposure to the cannabis retail market.
  • Specific instances in which applicants will be denied a licence, including cannabis-related criminal offences. Notably, illegal cannabis retailers who were operating after October 17, 2018 are not eligible for Ontario cannabis sales licenses.
  • A prohibition on the issuance of a licence to any individual or organization who has an association with organized crime.
  • Requirement that individuals or entities applying for an operator licence demonstrate their tax compliance status to show that they are in good standing with the government.
  • A requirement for all private recreational cannabis retail storefronts to be stand-alone stores only.
  • Individuals with a store authorization, cannabis retail managers and all retail employees will be required to complete the approved training to ensure that any individual who works in the cannabis retail market is trained in the responsible sale of cannabis.
  • The private retail store model will be tightly-regulated and strictly enforced by the AGCO, establishing a zero-tolerance approach for any retailer who provides cannabis to anyone under the age of 19.
  • Private retail recreational cannabis stores will be permitted to open between 9am and 11pm on any day.

In establishing these regulations, theĀ  government says that they consulted with municipalities, Indigenous communities, law enforcement, public health advocates, businesses and consumer groups, as well as representatives from other provinces.

It is anticipated that the AGCO will begin accepting applications on December 17th, 2018 and private retailing of cannabis will begin on April 1st, 2019.

The government has committed to providing $40 million over two years to help municipalities with the implementation costs of recreational cannabis legalization.

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