Stricter Cannabis Store Regulations for Ontario

Thursday, November 15, 2018

The province has established stricter regulations for the licensing and operation of private cannabis stores in response to pubic consultations. This is the latest phase of the planned response from the province to protect children and youth, keep communities and roads safe, and combat the illegal market.

The regulations will provide clarity for the private recreational cannabis store system scheduled to begin April 1, 2019 under the strict supervision of the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) 

New regulations include:

  • Retail stores can't be within 150 meters (492 feet) of schools, including private and federally-funded First Nation schools off-reserve.
  • Retailers will not be allowed to let anyone under the age of 19 enter their stores.
  • Specific instances where applicants will be denied a licence, including cannabis-related criminal offences. Illegal cannabis retailers who were operating after October 17, 2018 are not eligible for Ontario cannabis sales licenses.
  • Individuals and organizations who have an association with organized crime will be prohibited from getting an operator licence.
  • Individuals or entities applying for an operator licence must demonstrate their tax compliance status to show that they are in good standing with the government.
  • A requirement for all private recreational cannabis retail storefronts to be stand-alone stores only.
  • Individuals with a store authorization, cannabis retail managers and all retail employees will be required to complete the approved training to ensure that any individual who works in the cannabis retail market is trained in the responsible sale of marijuana.
The Ontario government gathered feedback from municipalities, Indigenous communities, law enforcement, public health advocates, businesses and consumer groups, as well as representatives from other provinces to create the new regulations.

For more information on the licensing process of retail operations of cannabis visit the AGCO website.