Hamilton’s legal cannabis market is going to get crowded in the coming months with retail applications pending across the city.
Forty-eight retail licence applications are being processed by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO). Four of those potential stores are in the process of receiving public scrutiny, the other 44 have passed that stage and are undergoing review by the AGCO.
If all applications are granted, there will be 56 pot shops spread out through Hamilton, from Ancaster to Winona and Waterdown to Binbrook.
New locations are good news for customers in areas of the city that were shut out when the government was granting licences through the lottery system.
For example, downtown had no cannabis stores in the year and a half since October 2018 legalization. But when the government lifted restriction in late 2019, applications flooded in.
Since the end of pandemic lockdown, two pot shops have opened up downtown, bringing Hamilton’s total dispensaries to eight.
Tokyo Smoke opened on James Street North between Barton and Cannon streets on July 22.
And then Cannabis Supply Co. opened on John Street South, just south of Main Street East, on Aug. 3.
Twelve more would-be vendors have applications submitted to open in the downtown area, including six in the Hess Village block.