The first 25 companies that can apply for cannabis retail licences in the province have been revealed and in the area at least four shops in Hamilton and one in Niagara. The alcohol and gaming commission of Ontario, which will regulate the province’s retail cannabis outlets, picked the winners randomly four of seven west region pot shop winners are in Hamilton another 20 applicants in the region are on a waiting list. Those selected have five business days to turn in their applications for a retail operator licence along with a $6,000 non-refundable fee and a $50,000 letter of credit.
When it comes to whether or not they will be allowed to open shop in Hamilton council will decide on Monday. The director of Communications to the Attorney General confirmed to CHCH News that those selected through the lottery will be allowed to apply for a retail operator licence and if they get one they are not limited to operating a store within the municipality where they reside. If Councillor Merulla gets his motion passed on Monday the city of Hamilton might opt out. Recreational cannabis can currently only be purchased legally in Ontario through a government-run website, with the first private stores set to open April 1st. Hamilton Councillors will meet Monday for a final vote on private pot shops. Burlington council, who also deferred their vote, will come to a decision on Monday as well. All cities have until January 22nd to decide whether to allow pot stores. In big cities like Toronto opted in others including Oakville have decided to opt out.