Currently, Canadian retail cannabis consumers looking to buy bud in Ontario must go through the official province-run e-commerce store, aptly named the Ontario Cannabis Store. While that is expected to change starting on April 1st, Ontario Attorney General Caroline Mulroney is frustrated by the national cannabis shortage that is holding the province back.
New Cannabis Retailers Coming Soon
With many Ontarians unhappy about the OCS monopoly, the Government of Ontario gave the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario a mandate to hold a lottery to determine who may apply for Retail Operator Licenses.
After a short window to enter, on January 11th, 2019, the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario released the official results for the lottery. Out of thousands of applicants, only 25 were selected.
With a population of over 14 million people, many are wondering why Ontario is initially releasing just 25 retail licenses.
Canada’s Cannabis Shortage
Why did Ontario cap the initial number of retail cannabis stores at 25? There just isn’t enough cannabis to go around, apparently.
“It is certainly not our intention to have 25 retail stores in Ontario, but we need more supply to be able to fill the shelves of more stores than that,” commented Ontario Attorney General Caroline Mulroney.
With so many licensed producers announcing production capacities north of 1 million square feet, it can be hard to believe that supply is scarce. That being said, Mulroney says that it was the federal government’s decision to legalize cannabis, and it is the federal government’s responsibility to license cannabis producers.
While it was the government’s intention to undercut the illegal black market through legalization and regulation, that seems like a long shot with such limited retail availability. In the meantime, be sure to subscribe to updates here so you never miss an important update.
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