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Ontario pot shops who failed to open by April 15 face more penalties

First legal cannabis stores open in Ontario
WATCH ABOVE: Ten of 25 legal cannabis stores opened across Ontario. And while it was an all-time “high” for those that made the April 1 deadline, for 13 other storefronts the day meant potential fines for missing launch day. Jamie Mauracher reports. (April 1)

TORONTO – Cannabis retailers in Ontario who have failed to open their stores by a government-set deadline are facing a new round of financial penalties.

In all, eleven pot retailers have been fined $12,500 each for not opening their stores by April 15.

READ MORE: No spike in cannabis-impaired driving charges 6 months after legalization: RCMP

Twenty-five retailers were selected through a government lottery to open the first brick-and-mortar cannabis stores on April 1, but less than half met the deadline.

The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario established a system of escalating penalties for retailers who didn’t start serving customers on time.

The agency says it has drawn down on letters of credit submitted by the licencees – some for a second time – taking $12,500 from the $50,000 initially provided.

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READ MORE: Retail staff ‘relieved’ as Toronto’s second legal cannabis store opens in Yorkville

Stores that do not open by the end of the month could have further penalties.

There are currently 13 cannabis shops operating across the province.