The lawsuit for those seeking to obtain a license to sell retail cannabis begins on Monday in Ontario.
The Ontario Alcohol and Games Commission has distributed 25 retail licenses throughout the province, and only five of them will be in eastern Ontario.
This will include two being selected for the "Northern Region".
This includes: Nipissing, Parry Sound, Sudbury, Sudbury, Timiskaming, Cochrane, Algoma, Thunder Bay, Rainy River and Kenora.
The lottery will be held on January 11, but those selected will not automatically receive a cannabis retail license.
Now available: 1) Schedule for the Cannabis Retail Lottery, Licensing and
Store Authorization Process: https://t.co/hpsZY9zzUb, 2) Frequently Asked Questions about Expression of Interest Lottery: https://t.co/eDsXUUDq76 pic.twitter.com/im6qVRNKmt
– AGCO (@Ont_AGCO) January 4, 2019
"We are starting this lottery process to qualify people and ensure that those interested are genuinely interested and financially committed," explained Raymond Kahnert, senior communications consultant for AGCO.
AGCO will be based on expressions of interest presented between January 7 and 9, and then those who are drawn may apply for a license.
There is a $ 75 application fee, and those selected will have five business days to submit a completed application along with a nonrefundable fee of $ 6,000 and a $ 50,000 letter of credit.
"For whatever reason, if they choose not to continue with an application, then … the 26th person, or the next person in the east, would have the opportunity to apply," Kahnert told 1310 NEWS.
While five licenses will be awarded throughout eastern Ontario, it remains to be seen how many of these stores will be in Ottawa.
The number of stores will depend, in part, on the submissions drawn.
That means Ottawa can see everything, or even none of the marijuana stores.
Here's how the 25 licenses will be distributed throughout the province:
- East of Ontario, including Ottawa, will have five stores.
- Toronto will have six stores.
- The GTA will have five stores.
- The rest of southern Ontario, not including Toronto and the GTA, will have a total of seven stores.
- Northern Ontario will have two stores.
Storefront cannabis stores will open in Ontario on April 1.
If Ottawa does not get any of the marijuana stores, you'll probably have to travel a little further than Gatineau. Unfortunately, none of Canada's 12 cannabis retail stores are in that city.
Société québécoise du cannabis says: "Due to the current shortage of supply, our stores will be open only from Thursday to Sunday."
It is unknown when, or if, Gatineau will get its first retail cannabis store.