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Ontario cannabis stores who failed to open by deadline facing more penalties

More cannabis retailers in Ontario who failed to open their stores by a government-set deadline will be facing further financial penalties.
More cannabis retailers in Ontario who failed to open their stores by a government-set deadline will be facing further financial penalties. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young

TORONTO – More cannabis retailers in Ontario who failed to open their stores by a government-set deadline are facing further financial penalties.

The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario says it has penalized nine more outlets for not serving customers by April 30.

READ MORE: A dozen of Ontario’s cannabis stores penalized for not opening on time

The government chose 25 retailers through a lottery to open the province’s first brick-and-mortar cannabis stores on April 1, but fewer than half met the deadline.

The AGCO established a system of escalating financial penalties for retailers who were delayed.

The commission says it has gone ahead with a final draw-down on letters of credit submitted by seven of the licencees, taking $25,000 apiece from the $50,000 each initially provided.

READ MORE: Ford government committed to lifting cap on pot shops in Ontario

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That means those applicants have lost their entire $50,000 letter of credit.

The commission says it has also made draw downs of $12,500 on two other applicants – one for the first time and the other for a second time.

The Ontario Public Service Employees Union issued a statement saying the latest penalties show a need for “a responsible public option for cannabis sales.”