Article by CityNews
Months after saying it would not cap the number of licences for retail pot shops after cannabis was legalized, the Ontario government has reversed course, saying it will now only be able to issue 25 licences by April.
In a statement Thursday evening, the province says it plans to take a “phased approach” to authorizing retail cannabis outlets because of “severe supply shortages” across the country.
Only a limited number of licences will be handed out for the launch of private retailers on April 1, with the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario implementing a lottery system to determine who is eligible. The results will be announced in January, the government says.
“Taking into consideration the required investments for a prospective Ontario private legal retailer, we cannot in good conscience issue an unlimited number of licences,” said a joint statement from Finance Minister Vic Fedeli and Attorney General Caroline Mulroney.