ontario cannabis stores

Ontario government decides only 25 weed stores can open in April

Last night, less than one hour after Toronto voted in favour of allowing physical pot shops within city limits, Doug Ford's PC government announced yet another surprise change to the rules: There can only be 25.

Yes, only 25 recreational Cannabis retail stores will now be allowed to open on April 1, 2019, according to Ontario finance minister Vic Fedeli, on account of "national supply shortages."

That's not 25 stores in Toronto, mind you—it's 25 stores across the entire province, each to be chosen by the AGCO in a lottery system next month.

Previous to this, Ontario had promised there would be no cap on the number of licenses issued to businesses that wished to sell marijuana when brick-and-mortar cannabis stores became legal in April (though any one operator could only have 75 locations accross the province, maximum).

"It is the federal government's responsibility to oversee cannabis production and to provide a viable alternative to the illegal market by ensuring there is sufficient supply to meet consumer demand," reads a statement from Fedeli and Attorney General Caroline Mulroney issued Thursday night.

"Yet, we continue to see severe supply shortages across the country in legal, licensed recreational cannabis stores," it continues.

Thus, says the government, it "cannot in good conscience issue an unlimited number of licences to businesses in the face of such shortages."

Fedeli and Mulroney blame the federal government for failing "to provide certainty around future supply" and say that the issue "demands an immediate response from Justin Trudeau."

Once Ford's government is certain that supply levels are adequate, it will "communicate next steps for additional private retail stores."

No expected date for that to happen is given, but the government does assure that its lottery for issuing a private retail licence is a "temporary model."

In the meantime, Torontonians can still legally purchase weed online from the government's own Ontario Cannabis Store... or, you know, purchase it from whoever has already been supplying the country in spades for decades. 

Lead photo by

reddfox81


Join the conversation Load comments

Latest in City

Number of people in Ontario hospitalized with COVID-19 hits a 2-month low

Yonge North Subway Extension is moving forward and here's what the map will look like

Here's what Regis Korchinski-Paquet's family members say happened when she died

Toronto man staging hunger strike outside long-term care home in Ontario

Pearson Airport in Toronto is introducing strict new rules starting next week

Toronto Police release disturbing videos from shooting that killed Houdini

Protest planned in Toronto over death of Regis Korchinski-Paquet

Over 40 guinea pigs thought to be on the loose in an Ontario neighbourhood