TORONTO (CP) — The Ontario government has released regulations that will guide the startup of private cannabis stores on April 1.
The stand-alone stores can be open any day between 9 a.m. and 11 p.m., but they must be at least 150 metres away from schools and bar entry to anyone under 19 years old.
A market concentration limit of 75 stores per operator has been set.
Until April, cannabis can only be legally purchased from the online Ontario Cannabis Store.
The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) will begin accepting applications for cannabis-related licenses on Dec. 17 and illegal cannabis retailers who were operating after legalization on Oct. 17 will not be eligible to receive cannabis sales licenses.
Licenses won’t be issued to any person or organization who has an association with organized crime, and applicants must demonstrate their tax compliance status to show they are in good standing with the government.
“The purpose of these regulations is to keep kids safe and to ensure all people operating in this tightly-regulated retail system behave with integrity, honesty, and in the public interest,”’ Attorney General Caroline Mulroney said in a statement.
Retail managers and employees must complete approved training in the responsible sale of cannabis.
The government says it will provide $40 million over two years to help municipalities with the implementation costs of recreational cannabis legalization.