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November 16, 2018updated 22 Nov 2018 10:51am

Ontario implements new regulations for private cannabis retailers

Ontario's Government for the People has passed new regulations to offer clarity for the establishment and operation of a private recreational cannabis store system.

Ontario’s Government for the People has passed new regulations to offer clarity for the establishment and operation of a private recreational cannabis store system.

The government has entered consultations with the Ontario public to form the regulations, which will come into effect on 1 April under close guidance from the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO).

The Ontario Government will offer $40m over two years to support the implementation of the recreational cannabis legalisation.

According to regulations, retailers should maintain a minimum distance of 150m between cannabis retail stores and schools in a move to help protect students and keep communities safe.

Retailers should not allow anyone under the age of 19 years to enter their stores, which will address the risk of youth exposure to cannabis.

Illegal cannabis retailers operating after 17 October will not be eligible for issuance of a licence to operate cannabis retailer store. Individuals or organisations associated with organised crime will be denied the licence.

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All the private recreational cannabis retail stores should be stand-alone and businesses or individuals applying for an operator licence should demonstrate their tax compliance status.

“We will be ready with laws and regulations to protect Ontario’s youth and to combat the criminal market in response to the federal government’s legalisation of cannabis.”

Individuals with store authorisation, cannabis retail managers, and all retail employees should complete the approved training in the responsible sale of cannabis.

Ontario Attorney General Caroline Mulroney said: “The purpose of these regulations is to keep kids safe and to ensure all people operating in this tightly regulated retail system behave with integrity, honesty, and in the public interest.

“The application process for private cannabis retail store licences will begin on 17 December.

“We will be ready with laws and regulations to protect Ontario’s youth and to combat the criminal market in response to the federal government’s legalisation of cannabis.”

The regulations also want retailers to have a maximum limit of 75 stores to prevent a high degree of market consolidation, promote opportunities for small businesses, and promote investment in the cannabis retail sector.