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Ontario To Accelerate Approval Of New Adult-Use Retail Licenses

September 8, 2020

Ontario is set to ramp up authorization of new cannabis retail stores this fall. The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario says it will double the number of approvals from the previous pace, which in April was targeted at about 20 new stores a month. The agency has approved 164 stores to date, Bloomberg reported, of which 150 are open for business. The slow rollout of retail stores across Ontario—Canada’s largest province in population terms—had been blamed for the relatively sluggish launch of the country’s recreational cannabis category over the past two years.

In a recent interview with SND, Canopy Growth CEO David Klein noted, “The growing pains in Canada are largely the result of unrealistic estimates of how quickly the provinces could issue licenses to open retail stores. Ontario, for example, had been a laggard in issuing licenses. That has shifted and the retail footprint in Ontario is now rapidly expanding.” —Daniel Marsteller

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