Ontario cannabis rules place restrictions on retail ownership of licensed producers

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.

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.

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.

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