The Ontario government has made amendments to the Cannabis Act and have announced plans for a second AGCO lottery to award 50 cannabis retail licenses and store authorizations. Here’s everything you need to know about the AGCO lottery rules for lottery #2.
ACGO Lottery Rules For Cannabis Retail Store Lottery #2 in Ontario
It’s been a challenge, to say the least for cannabis entrepreneurs to get their respective dispensary businesses launched and open for business in Ontario primarily because cannabis retail store licenses were capped at only 25 by the Ontario government.
But now there’s some good news with the AGCO lottery rules for cannabis entrepreneurs in Canada because last week, the same Ontario government amended Ontario Regulation 468/18 and announced plans for a second lottery for 50 cannabis retail store authorizations/licenses.
It’s important to note the “amendment” that the Ontario government made in order to make this cannabis retail store licence lottery possible.
The new amendment will override a few things from the first lottery process that took place in January 2019. For example, the store allocation limits have been lifted and pre-qualification controls have been implemented for anyone interested in this second lottery.
Good news for anyone who’s been on the waitlist from the first lottery as they are also eligible to apply.
Unfortunately, it’s not all good news. There will be some challenges for some cannabis and CBD entrepreneurs.
For this new lottery, the AGCO says that all selected applicants will have to show evidence that they have already secured retail space to use as a store and that they have enough capital to open it.
In addition, the AGCO says that a bank letter confirming access to $250,000 in cash and another letter confirming the ability to get a $50,000 standby letter of credit will be needed.
So what else do you need to know about Ontario’s new cannabis retail store lottery?
Keep reading, we have everything you need to know as well as answers to some frequently asked questions about the AGCO’s second allocation expression of interest lottery.
How Many Cannabis Retail Licenses & Store Authorizations Are Available?
The AGCO is holding the second Expression of Interest Lottery to allow pre-qualified prospective cannabis operators to apply for a Retail Operator Licence for one of 42 retail store authorizations in Ontario.
Wait, didn’t I say there were 50 cannabis retail store licenses available in Ontario’s second lottery? It turns out there’s some really, really cool news to explain this.
The Regulation was also amended to allow the AGCO to authorize 8 additional retail stores on First Nations reserves.
Information on the application process for these stores can be found on the Stores on First Nations Reserves portal.
The 42 retail store authorizations will be split across the following regions in Ontario:
- North region get 7 cannabis retail store licenses.
- GTA region will receive 6 store authorizations.
- Toronto has a shot at the most cannabis retail licenses with 13.
- East region gets 7 licenses.
- West region will receive 11 cannabis store authorizations.
What Are The New Pre-Qualification Criteria For Lottery Applicants?
As we mentioned above, one of the challenges with the upcoming second cannabis store lottery in Ontario is 3 key pre-qualifications that are an essential part of the criteria for the lottery.
In order to pre-qualify to participate in the second cannabis retail store lottery in Ontario, CBD entrepreneurs must have the following in place:
- Confirmation via a legitimate bank letter, from a bank or credit union, that you are financially secure and have access to immediately produce $250,000 CAD$ in cash or cash equivalents like short-term investments or bonds.
- Confirmation via a legitimate bank letter, from a bank or credit union, that you’re able to produce a Standby Letter of Credit for $50,000, within five business days of being notified of their selection by the Registrar.
- Confirmation that the applicant has secured a retail space for their cannabis store. This includes a valid address, which will be available to them for operating a cannabis retail store no later than October 2019.
When Is The Date of the Draw For The Second Ontario Cannabis Lottery?
Here are the most important deadline dates for anyone looking to apply for this second cannabis store lottery in Ontario.
- August 7 at 12:01 am to August 9 at 8:00 pm: All interested parties must submit their expression of interest between these dates only.
- August 20, 2019: This is the date the draw takes place in Ontario. The AGCO says that it will publish the results of the lottery, including the selected store locations, on its website within 24 hours of the draw.
Application Process for a Cannabis Retail Store on a First Nations Reserve
The AGCO is conducting a first come, first served process to allocate eight retail store authorizations for those who wish to operate a store on a First Nations reserve.
Applicants interested in applying for one of these eight retail store authorizations must first obtain approval from the First Nations Band Council to operate a store on their reserve.
The AGCO will begin accepting applications from applicants who wish to operate a store on a First Nations reserve, as of July 31, 2019, at 9:00 am.
Store authorizations will be allocated on a first come, first served basis as determined by the time of their submission of a complete, online Retail Store Authorization Intent to Apply – First Nations Reserve Lands application to the AGCO.
A complete application must include a resolution from the First Nations Band Council approving the location of the proposed store in their community.
Who Can I Contact For More Information & Questions?
If you have any questions about this process, inquiries about the lottery rules or application process can be directed to AGCO Customer Service at 416-326-8700 (1-800-522-2876 toll-free in Ontario) or submitted via iAGCO.
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When you have your cannabis retail store setup – or, even better, when you’re setting up your retail store and you need the following digital marketing services for dispensaries, we can help you!
- E-commerce Website Development
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If you have any questions with the lottery, please contact the AGCO at the number noted above.
We’re Ready To Help You Grow!