Pot lottery winners plan to set up shop in Kitchener, Guelph

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There is another applicant on the wait list with a proposed location at 130 Main St. S. Applicants on the waitlist will be moved to the selected list if those ahead of them are found to be ineligible for a licence or retail store authorization, or are otherwise disqualified under the allocation lottery rules.

Those selected will have until August 28 to pay licensing fees, and provide a letter of credit for $50,000 to the regulator.

The commission stressed it will only license applicants and authorize stores that meet all legal and regulatory requirements.

Welland will see its first store on Division Street.

There are now 24 legal cannabis stores in operation in Ontario - 13 of them are in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton area, and five of those 13 are located in Toronto proper.

The wait list also includes the names Cora Miszuk and VALVAC Corporation, also with the same proposed store addresses.

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Woods said Ontario's next step could be to open up the market further, removing the cap on the number of stores that can operate. "We have 14 million people".

Out of the handful of stores chosen for the GTA region, only one is in Durham.

The latest lottery winners appear to be a mix of sole proprietors and numbered companies that could turn out to be part of larger entities, Phillips noted. The provincial government has long indicated its preference for cannabis retail stores to be operated by small business owners.

"We're likely setting ourselves up for another feeding frenzy where these lottery winners will be out seeking partnerships with well-known commercial enterprises and essentially auctioning off their golden ticket to the highest bidder", he said.

There were seven winners in Ontario's East Region, 19 in Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area, five in Ontario's northern region, which includes additional stores in Thunder Bay, and 11 winners in the province's western region.

The location of the proposed pot shop is also being supported by the Downtown Windsor Business Improvement Association. That compares to more than 17,000 applications for just 25 licences when the province held its first draw earlier this year.

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