First of all Happy 2019!
On December 13, 2018, the Ontario Government announced that retail stores will roll out in a phased approach with an initial cap of 25 Retail Store Authorizations selected through a lottery system. The intention of the lottery is to allow for the opening of cannabis stores in Ontario on April 1st, 2019 and to allow for the federal cannabis supply to stabilize. To participate in the lottery, interested parties are required to submit their Expression of Interest to the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO).
On January 2nd, 2019, the AGCO published information regarding the rules of the Cannabis Retail Store Licensing Expression of Interest Lottery. This morning, January 4th, 2019, the AGCO held a webinar to discuss the rules of the Expression of Interest and Lottery Process.
Expression of Interest Applications to the lottery will be accepted online from 12:01 AM EST January 7th, 2019 until 12:00 PM (noon) EST January 9th, 2019 with a payment of a $75 non-refundable EOI Fee for the Expression of Interest submitted (Only one EOI will be accepted from each applicant with an opportunity to select up to five Regions).
During today’s webinar, the AGCO has made it clear that there is no advantage or disadvantage to when an Applicant submits their Expression of Interest during this timeframe as the AGCO will place eligible entries in a common pool for the lottery. The AGCO intends to publish the results of the lottery, to be held on January 11, 2019, on its website within 24 hours of the lottery selection.
The Proposed AGCO Lottery Licensing and Store Authorization Process Timelines
What you need to know:
The lottery is open to the following applicant types: corporation, limited partnership, partnership, trust, and sole proprietor and being a Canadian citizen or resident is not a requirement at this time.
Applicants must use the same legal name and applicant type identified on the Expression of Interest Application in their Retail Operator Licence Application.
An Applicant may identify up to five regions (as identified by the AGCO) for a total of five separate entries in the lottery (i.e., one per Region). Selecting multiple Regions will increase your chances of getting selected, but you will only be allowed to open one store in one region (first drawn) should you get selected multiple times in the lottery, and you must be prepared to open a store in this Region by April 1st, 2019 otherwise the AGCO Registrar has the right to withdraw large increments from your Standby Letter of Credit should you fail to open on this date. Secondly, they will be allow applicants to hold a only a single spot on the waitlist and that spot will be the first drawn in the lottery.
An Expression of Interest Applicant and its Affiliate(s) may all submit applications, as long as they are for different regions. However, if Affiliates of each other are placed on the Selected List for different regions, only the first drawn Expression of Interest entry will be notified by the Registrar that they may make a licence application and the second drawn Affiliate entry becomes ineligible.
If you are on the Selected List for a region, within five (5) business days of AGCO posting the lottery results on its website, the applicant is required:
To provide a standby Letter of Credit with an expiry date of December 13, 2019 in the amount of Fifty Thousand Dollars ($50,000) issued from a bank found in Schedule I or Schedule II of the Bank Act (S.C. 1991, c.46) and;
CannDelta can assist you with submitting a Retail Operator Licence application.
Following the submission of a Retail Operator Licence application, CannDelta will assist Applicants with the submission of a Retail Store Authorization Application, and Applicants will be required to make the non-refundable $4,000 Retail Store Authorization fee payment.
How can CannDelta assist with the lottery process over the next week?
CannDelta will assist Retained Applicants with the process of putting together their Expression of Interest (EOI) and subsequent application requirements once they are selected. Note that the client is responsible for managing the submission of the EOI on the iAGCO portal so as not to in any way interfere with the selection process; however, Applicants can do this with the assistance of CannDelta via a video-conferencing/screen-sharing application. If you are interested in having CannDelta assist you with this and the subsequent process, contact info@canndeltav2:8890 to set up a free 10-minute consultation.
Note that this lottery is just the first round – so don’t get discouraged! The AGCO intends to have a second round following the end of the lottery process i.e. December 13, 2019, or potentially if the cannabis supply increases much sooner. CannDelta is committed to assisting the selected retail Applicants through each step of the process, regardless of when that process is initiated.
How to Submit:
1. Create an iAGCO account as soon as possible.
2. Obtain a $50,000 Line of Credit as soon as possible to avoid possible delays.
If you are a sole proprietor, you will need to provide the following information for the EOI:
- Legal Name
- Certain personal information (i.e. birth date, place of birth, driver’s licence information)
- Contact information
- Address(es) (mailing, physical and business)
- Region(s) for the Store Location Lottery
If you are a corporation, limited partnership, partnership, or trust, you will need to provide the following information for the EOI:
- Legal Name
- Legal Structure (privately held, publicly held, trust, or non-profit)
- Contact Information
- Address(es) (mailing, physical and business)
Note: At this time no business plan or lease is required for the expression of interest.
Step 3 Select the Region(s) where you wish to operate a cannabis retail store.
Step 4 Pay $75 non-refundable fee.
Step 5 Submit.
Visit Canndelta.com to learn about our scientific and regulatory cannabis consulting services.