Article by Kieran Delamont, Now Magazine
The Ford government finally released regulations that will guide the roll-out of retail cannabis stores in the province.
As currently drafted, the new regs clear up some of the uncertainties that had been hanging over the question of retail stores since the government announced plans to privatize cannabis sales back in August, like where stores can be located and who can work at them.
But the rules are still hazy in parts, especially regarding the interests of big bud Licensed Producers (LPs), who have been buying up existing retail operations – and other properties – in the hope of being able to sell their products through street-level operations.
The regs place a hard cap on the number of stores that can be owned and operated by a single person or company at 75. One company with that kind of bricks-and-mortar infrastructure right now is Shoppers Drug Mart, which does have a licence to sell marijuana. Under the new regs, however, Shoppers won’t be able to plop a dispensary into any of their existing stores.
On the other hand, National Access Cannabis (NAC), a medpot distributor that currently owns two retail pot shop brands, Meta Cannabis Supply and NewLeaf, is well positioned to take advantage of this “high and healthy” allowance. NAC has a deal with Second Cup to convert some of their stores over to cannabis sales.