The Ontario government has given municipalities until January 22, 2019 to opt out of having cannabis retail stores in their jurisdictions.
Dispensaries which have begun operations prior to October 17 will also be barred from further business unless they secure a license to operate after legalization takes effect.
This, amid a new proposal that would see licensed cannabis producers limited to just one retail location in the province.
“We want to open up the market place,” attorney general Caroline Mulroney told Bloomberg.
In mid-August, the provincial government delayed the launch of private sales in brick-and-mortar stores until April 1. Pot will be only sold online by the Ontario Cannabis Store until then.
Read more: Ontario postpones private cannabis sales until April 2019
Canaccord Genuity analyst Matt Bottomley said that Ontario will be the second-largest market for private pot sales, just behind California. Cannabis industry players have welcomed Ontario’s stance of accommodating more private sales, similar to Alberta’s system.
Meanwhile, Quebec will be conducting sales via its government-run liquor agency, and B.C. will be selling via a hybrid model.
Intensified investment in recreational marijuana began last month with Corona beer marker Constellation Brands Inc.’s announcement of a $3.8 billion stake in cannabis giant Canopy.
Industry observers have stated that Canada’s industrial rental and retail property segments, especially in Ontario and Alberta, will enjoy generous windfalls once the federal Cannabis Act goes into effect in a few weeks.
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