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Ontario cannabis rules place restrictions on retail ownership of licensed producers

Click to play video 'Queen’s Park ready to juggle fall economic statement, more scandal, new pot regulations' Queen’s Park ready to juggle fall economic statement, more scandal, new pot regulations
WATCH ABOVE: The front and the back burners are on at Queen's Park, as legislators prepare to receive the fall economic statement. As Travis Dhanraj reports, the province's finances may be overshadowed by an explosive new book and new pot regulations.

TORONTO –The Ontario government says a cannabis retail licence will not be issued to a corporation if more than 9.9 per cent of it is owned or controlled by one or more licensed marijuana producers or their affiliates.

The province’s new pot retail regulations also stipulate that this restriction applies whether the pot producer’s ownership of the corporation is direct or indirect.

READ MORE: Ontario government releases cannabis regulations for retail stores set to open in April

The detailed rules released today shed more light on the province’s private cannabis retail framework and deals a blow to licensed producers, some of which have purchased stakes in retail.

In September, the Progressive Conservative government said licensed growers and their affiliates may not hold more than one retail location between them, located at a production facility.

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READ MORE: Ontario ombudsman receives more than 1,000 complaints over cannabis store

The executive director of the Cannabis Council of Canada Allan Rewak says it welcomes the additional clarity but is “disappointed” as some licensed producers who have invested in retail chains may be prevented from entering the Ontario marketplace.

Applications for licenses will begin on Dec. 17 and retail stores are expected to open in April, with a market concentration of 75 stores per operator.