A lo­cal mys­tery over cannabis lot­tery win­ners

Any from Water­loo Re­gion? Who knows? Mayor Vr­banovic says he hasn’t heard ei­ther

Waterloo Region Record - - Front Page - LIZ MONTEIRO [email protected]­cord.com Twit­ter: @Mon­teiroRecord

WATER­LOO RE­GION — The prov­ince an­nounced the list of 25 com­pa­nies that can ap­ply for a cannabis re­tail li­cence and seven of them are in the western part of the prov­ince that in­cludes Water­loo Re­gion. But it’s not clear ex­actly where the seven li­cence hold­ers are lo­cated — other than be­ing west of the Greater Toronto Area. Kitch­ener Mayor Berry Vr­banovic said he hasn’t heard that any of the seven cho­sen in the west re­gion are lo­cal. The Al­co­hol and Gam­ing Com­mis­sion of On­tario re­leased the list late Fri­day. The win­ners in the lot­tery have five busi­ness days to turn in their ap­pli­ca­tion, along with a $6,000 fee and $50,000 let­ter of credit. The li­cences were di­vided re­gion­ally across the prov­ince with five go­ing to the east, seven in the west, two in the north, six in the Greater Toronto Area and five in Toronto. Some of the win­ners in­clude The Ni­a­gara Her­bal­ist and Tripset­ter Inc. The provin­cial agency said they re­ceived 17,000 ex­pres­sions of in­ter­est from peo­ple and com­pa­nies want­ing to hold a cannabis re­tail li­cence. The stores are set to open April 1. For now, peo­ple want­ing to buy recre­ational cannabis can only pur­chase le­gally through a gov­ern­ment-run web­site. Peter Thur­ley, a Kitch­ener-based board mem­ber with Cana­di­ans for Fair Ac­cess to Med­i­cal Mar­i­juana, said it ap­pears most lot­tery win­ners were in­di­vid­u­als and not cor­po­rate en­ti­ties. “I think that is good thing,” he said. Thur­ley said the ap­pli­ca­tion process is tight and “oner­ous.” There is a short time frame to get the ap­pli­ca­tion to­gether, Thur­ley said. “Some of those names won’t end up with stores,” he added. Vr­banovic said the city heard from sev­eral in­ter­ested par­ties look­ing for in­for­ma­tion on zon­ing and li­cens­ing. On Mon­day, the city votes on whether to al­low or re­ject cannabis store­fronts. Sim­i­lar coun­cil votes will be held in Water­loo and Cam­bridge this week.

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