'Wait and see': Ont. unclear which private pot shops will open April 1
CTVNews.ca staff, with a report from CTV Toronto's Queen's Park Bureau Chief Colin D’Mello
Published Tuesday, March 26, 2019 9:25AM EDT
Cannabis users in Ontario will have to “wait and see” which of the 25 private pot shops -- which have been granted licences -- will be fully operational by next week’s April 1 deadline, provincial Finance Minister Vic Fedeli said.
“We will have stores open on April 1. I know that the [Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario] is continuing to make sure that the 25 that have been approved get their stores open in a timely manner,” he told reporters at Queen’s Park on Monday.
Fedeli didn’t give a reason for the delay but stressed Ontario is proceeding cautiously and would “not rush into anything.”
Currently in Ontario, recreational cannabis can only be purchased legally through a government-run website.
Any retailer that doesn’t sell cannabis under the Ford government’s regulations could face a stiff $12,500 fine, followed by another $12,500 penalty two weeks later, and a final $25,000 charge on April 30.
The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario has handed out 10 of the 25 store authorizations, including one in Toronto, three in Ottawa, as well as stores in Brampton, Kingston, Burlington and St. Catharines. Another 12 are still in the public consultation and final approvals phase, with the last three licensed holders yet to start the process at all.