The Ontario lottery system will end and the open retail market will begin in January 2020

As of January 6, 2020, the provincial government will be removing the lottery system for cannabis retailers in an effort to increase access to legal cannabis for more residents across the province. Results from our latest campaign showed that Ontarians are not happy with the current system and how inaccessible purchasing legal cannabis is. There are currently only 24 licensed cannabis retailers open, which is one of the reasons many Ontario residents are purchasing cannabis from the illegal market.

From January 6 to March 2, 2020, the AGCO will begin accepting Retail Operator License (ROL) applications from any interested applicants. The cannabis retail lottery and First Nations reserve allocation processes and rules will be revoked on January 6. Until March 2, only applicants who were already selected and notified to apply for a ROL by the Registrar before January 6, 2020, may apply for a Retail Store Authorization.

As of March 2, 2020, the restrictions on the total number of store authorizations permitted in the province, and their regional distribution will be revoked. The AGCO will begin accepting applications for Retail Store Authorizations (RSA) from all interested applicants.

More information about this is available on the AGCO website.

RCU’s CEO Afshin Mousavian sat down with Cristina Tenaglia today on CP24 to talk about the significance of this shift.

“Overall there has been a lack of access, individuals haven’t been able to get access to legally licensed retailers ...with new stores, there’s going to be new jobs available in each one of those municipalities and with that comes a rise in the economic side of legal cannabis sales within the province.” - Afshin Mousavian, CEO, RCU - Responsible Cannabis Use

Education at the point of sale

In a recent online survey conducted by RCU, over 65% of those surveyed indicated that they would like to be educated about cannabis facts, laws, and safety tips inside of retail stores. Retail operators must consider the significant role that education will make in ensuring public safety and responsible use in their communities. 

CannEd Retail, created by RCU is an online and in-store education platform for licensed cannabis retailers. Cannabis retailers can educate consumers online or in-store with a stream of educational content about cannabis facts, laws and safety tips.

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