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Ontario To Remove Cap On Cannabis Dispensary Licenses

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Ontario is the largest Canadian province when measured by population size. It would stand to reason that Ontario would also be home to a proportionate share of Canada’s emerging cannabis industry. However, that is not actually the case.

Lawmakers and regulators in Ontario placed a cap on cannabis dispensary licenses, which has proven to be a major limiting factor in the growth of Ontario’s cannabis industry. What Ontario needs is a more open dispensary licensing system that encourages businesses to open, which is fortunately on the way. Per CBC:

Ontario is removing the cap on the number of pot shops in the province and nixing some qualification requirements for would-be retailers in a bid to clamp down on the number of illegal stores, sources tell CBC News.

Attorney General Doug Downey announced details of the changes weeks after the government first signalled its intention to open the cannabis market.

Eventually, Ontario is expected to have as many as 1,000 licensed cannabis dispensaries selling various products to adults and patients. A licensing base as robust as that is likely what it will take for the regulated market to compete with the unregulated cannabis market in Ontario in a meaningful way.

The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario will begin accepting applications from aspiring dispensary owners starting on January 6, 2020.