More details are emerging from the province about how licences for cannabis will be distributed.
The province says that due to a supply shortage of cannabis by federal providers they will not be issuing an unlimited number of licences now that the application process has opened up.
As a result, the province will be "taking steps to ensure that private cannabis retail stores open in phases. In the initial phase up to 25 licences will be issued so operators can open for business on April 1, 2019 and stay open."
To determine which businesses will get the licences, the Alcohol and Gaming Commission (AGCO) will hold a lottery. The lottery will be a temporary solution until production is sufficient.
Recently, the Peterborough Chamber of Commerce conducted a survey of its members to determine the acceptance level for private cannabis retail stores. We received 100 responses from our membership
with 75% in favour of private-sector license-based stores, 24% were not in favour of this model and 1% did not answer.
We also received just over 30 comments from those who answered the survey. Of those who responded in favour, many felt it was an opportunity to expand the tax base and bring in revenue for the City of
Peterborough. Many also recognized that there was market demand for the product that could still enter our city boundaries even if it was not sold in brick and mortar stores. They also expressed that allowing for storefronts could better keep the market above ground. Of those with concerns location and health impacts were mentioned the most.
At the December 10th council, meeting, while supportive of having the retail stores, councillors had concerns about the lack of a role for municipalities in decisions about location and response time to a license request.
The Canadian Chamber of Commerce released a 5 Minute for Business article on the cannabis market.
"Deloitte has forecasted that Canada’s cannabis market will be worth up to $7.17 billion in sales next year."
The provincial government released its plan in mid-November with the following main regulations:
A minimum distance of 150 metres (approximately 500 feet) between cannabis retail stores and schools, including private and federally-funded First Nation schools off-reserve.
All interested parties will be able to submit an expression of interest form online to the AGCO from January 7 to January 9, 2019. The expressions of interest will be put into a lottery pool for a draw. The draw will be conducted on January 11, 2019, with the results to be posted on the AGCO's website within 24 hours.