‘It’s Just Not Right:’ Scugog Shut Out of Pot Shop Lottery

Article by Chris Hall, Port Perry Star via DurhamRegion.com

'It's just not right:' Scugog shut out of pot shop lottery The Cannabis Connoisseur submitted 28 entries into provincial lottery NEWS 05:00 AM by Chris Hall Port Perry Star Julie and Duane Markle are the owners of The Cannabis Connisseur in Port Perry. Twenty-eight applications on behalf of the 1874 Scugog St. store were submitted to the province for the latest round of the cannabis retail store lottery, which they didn't win. August 26, 2019. - Ryan Pfeiffer/Torstar Scugog councillors voted unanimously in favour of permitting private retail cannabis stores in the township at their Jan. 21 meeting. Tiara Sillet Yepez, pictured, and her wife, Annelene Sillet Yepez, are the owners of Pickering vape lounge Natural Budz. - Torstar file photo

Aspiring Scugog pot pedlars came up short in the latest round of Ontario’s cannabis retail store lottery, but it wasn’t for a lack of trying.

Various individuals and numbered companies filed a total of 28 expressions of interest for 1874 Scugog St. in Port Perry, where The Cannabis Connoisseur is located. Elsewhere, nine applications were submitted for a marijuana retail store at 239 Queen St. Another expression was sent to the province on behalf on 218 Queen St.

Other single expressions of interest were submitted for 605 Regional Rd. 21 in Utica and 13300 Cartwright East Quarter-Line, near Cadmus.

The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) held the province’s second cannabis retail store lottery on Aug. 20, selecting 42 winners. Of those, six were allocated for the GTA, which includes Durham Region. Ontario announced the second lottery in early July.

Each of the winners had until Aug. 28 to apply for retail operator licences and retail store authorization. From there, the AGCO will carry out an eligibility and licensing review. The province will only licence applicants and authorize stores that meet all legal and regulatory requirements.

Last week’s lottery produced two winners from Oshawa — separate applications entered for an address at 20 Simcoe St. S. in downtown Oshawa — bringing the total number of potential pot stores for that city to three, after the first lottery round led to Tokyo Smoke Oshawa opening in June.

With 28 applications filed with the province for The Cannabis Connoisseur, Duane Markle figured he had a decent shot at seeing his company’s name called in the lottery. But even more frustrating than coming up short, he said, is the fact that Oshawa will potentially receive a third store which will leave other areas of Durham underserviced.

“I’ve gone through the process and I’m extremely disappointed with the process. The fairness of it is ridiculous,” said Markle. “It’s not fair, it’s just not right.”

He suggested the lottery process should be tweaked to provide a better distribution of the retail stores, instead of just a random lottery for vast regions of the province.

“It’s not fair to legalize (marijuana) and then not give people access to it,” said Markle. “The entire region is being served by Oshawa or Toronto.”

Read the full article here.

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