After delaying REC retail six months, then spending the subsequent nine months handing out a tiny number of REC licenses to citizens selected at random by lottery, the province of Ontario is ready to start over on REC retail.
On Monday, an unlimited number of aspiring REC retailers may apply for Retail Store Authorizations (store licenses) the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario will begin giving out in April. It has set a floor of awarding five licenses per week. Cannabis Retailer
Various REC retail chains are lining up to enter the Ontario market.
- Alberta’s Inner Spirit Holdings (parent of Spiritleaf REC stores) has 39 Alberta stores and plans to open 30 in Ontario. Newswire
- Hobo Cannabis, owned by Vancouver restaurant conglomerate Donnelly Group, is planning 12 Ontario stores. Newswire
- They’ll be joined by Meta Growth (formerly National Access Cannabis), which is planning to expand on its two existing Ontario REC stores. Newswire
- Independent stores are ready to go as well. Newswire
Lawyer Trina Fraser noted Ontario will eventually see license refusals due to “clustering” of too many REC shops together. She urged anyone with their heart set on a location to get their RSA in soon. Twitter—Trina Fraser
- Lawyer Harrison Jordan suggested those applying also file trademark applications for their proposed business names, while Fraser noted applicants shouldn’t apply until they’ve secured premises. Jordan also did a more detailed Q&A about choosing the ideal corporate structure for a REC retail company. Twitter—Harrison Jordan, Trina Fraser, Cannabis Retailer