Thirteen pot shop applicants in Ontario no longer in running
Cannabis is shown in this file image. (AP Photo / Richard Vogel)
Thirteen applicants selected in the pot shop lottery are no longer in the running to open legal stores in the province.
In an update on the Cannabis Allocation Lottery, the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) said of the 42 applicants selected in the lottery, 29 are being reviewed for eligibility, 12 have been disqualified for not submitting the appropriate documentation, and one withdrew their application.
Two Toronto applicants are not moving forward in the process, including the applicants for 213 Queen Street East and 619 King Street West.
The AGCO says 13 wait list applicants have now been brought forward and will also get a shot at a licence.
The proposed shop at the site of the illegal cannabis dispensary CAFE, located at 104 Harbord St., is one of the applications that will be reviewed.
CAFE, which has multiple locations across Toronto, has been repeatedly shut down by police in recent months and officers even went as far as to block the entrance of the shop with massive cement blocks to prevent staff from continuing to operate.
The province has said that none of the lottery winners have actually received licences but have simply been given an “opportunity to apply.”
“There’s a big distinction in that,” Ontario Attorney General Doug Downey said last week.
“It becomes a question of resources in terms of whether you want to vet everybody across the province who has an interest, or do what we chose to do, which is to create a lottery and then vet those who won the lottery.”
The AGCO says those who have been invited to apply for a licence will undergo a “comprehensive eligibility assessment,” which includes police and background checks on the applicant and other interested parties.