Licensed cannabis producers that hoped the privatization of cannabis sales in Ontario would allow them to expand their retail reach will have to adjust their ambitions.

Yesterday, the government outlined the details of its private cannabis framework at a press conference. Attorney General Caroline Mulroney and Finance Minister Vic Fedeli said that while there will be no cap on the number of licenses that are approved, there will be restrictions on the number that can be held by any single operator, including a rule that allows federally licensed cannabis producers to operate no more than one retail store in the province.

Cannabis retail locations will be required to be independent, meaning it cannot be sold alongside products outside of cannabis. Municipalities have until Jan. 22, 2019 to “opt out” of having a cannabis retail location in their towns. The first private stores will be opened on April 1, 2019 and, as previously announced, consumers in Ontario will have to rely on online sales operated by the Ontario Cannabis Store to buy cannabis.

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Josh Kolm – Strategy – September 27, 2018.



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