Ontario Cannabis Retail License

Open Market for Retail Cannabis Stores in Ontario in January 2020

Cannabis retail license holders are the only legal retailers of cannabis products in Canada. As a cannabis retailer, you may only sell licensed cannabis products affixed with an excise stamp, obtained from one of Health Canada’s licensed producers. Licenses for cannabis retail are issued by provincial licensing bodies and subject to provincial licensing requirements.


The the temporary lottery cap on the number of private cannabis stores in Ontario has been removed, eliminating pre-qualification requirements for prospective retailers. The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) will modify the application process for cannabis retail licensing. These updates will go into effect starting in 2020 to align with the timelines established by the government.


Now is the time to prepare your Retail Operator License application! dCC’s team will work with you to ensure your application successfully meets and exceeds all regulatory requirements.


Important Dates:

  • As of January 6, 2020, the AGCO will begin accepting retail operator licence (ROL) applications from any interested applicant.
  • The retail lottery and First Nations reserve allocation processes and rules will be revoked on January 6, 2020.
  • The current restriction on the total number of stores and their regional distribution will be maintained until March 2, 2020.
  • Until March 2, 2020, only applicants who were already selected and notified to apply for a ROL by the registrar prior to January 6, 2020, may apply for a retail store authorization.
  • As of March 2, 2020, the restrictions on the total number of store authorizations permitted in the province, and their regional distribution, will be revoked.
  • As of March 2, 2020, the AGCO will begin accepting applications for Retail Store Authorizations (RSA) from all interested parties.
  • In accordance with the direction set by the government, the AGCO expects to issue up to 20 RSAs per month as stores become ready.
  • Licensed operators may have up to 10 stores until September 2020, up to 30 until September 2021 and up to 75 thereafter.


Contact us assistance to obtaining your cannabis retail operator license!