On November 14, 2018, the Ontario Government set forth the regime for the licensing and operation of private cannabis stores under Ontario Regulation 468/18 (the Regulation) made under the Cannabis Licence Act, 2018 (the License Act).

Generally, the Regulation:

  • establishes a minimum distance of 150 metres (approximately 500 feet) between cannabis retail stores and schools, including private and federally-funded First Nation schools off-reserve;
  • prohibits anyone under the age of 19 from entering a retail cannabis store;
  • denies cannabis licenses to certain applicants, including those guilty of cannabis-related criminal offences. This also extends to those illegal cannabis retailers who were operating after October 17, 2018;
  • prohibits the issuance of a licence to any individual or organization who has an association with organized crime;
  • requires that individuals or entities applying for an operator licence demonstrate their tax compliance status to show that they are in good standing with the government;
  • sets forth allowable business hours of between 9am and 11pm and requires licensed stores to prominently display the provincial cannabis retail seal;
  • contains a requirement for all private recreational cannabis retail storefronts to be stand-alone stores only; and,
  • requires that individuals with a store authorization, cannabis retail managers, and all retail employees will be required to complete the approved training to ensure that any individual who works in the cannabis retail market is trained in the responsible sale of cannabis.

The application process for private retail cannabis stores in Ontario begins on December 17, 2018, with the private retail model expected to be established by April 1, 2019. These stores will operate under the auspices of the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO).

Ontario Regulation 468/18 can be downloaded from here.

For more information, please call Barbara Hendrickson at BAX Securities Law (416) 601 -1004.

This publication is not intended to constitute legal advice. No one should act on it or refrain from acting on it without consulting with a lawyer. BAX does not warrant or guarantee the accuracy or currency or completeness of the publication. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the prior written permission of BAX Securities Law.