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Ontario Government Contemplating Licensing Cannabis Consumption Establishments and Issuing Cannabis Special Occasion Permits

As part of the province of Ontario’s transition to an open cannabis market, the Ontario government announced on February 10, 2020, that it is seeking the public’s input on new potential business opportunities for cannabis consumption.

In particular, the Province announced that it is launching an online consultation which asks the public, business and healthcare communities, along with other stakeholders, to comment on the implementation of cannabis consumption establishments such as lounges and cafes, as well as the issuance of cannabis special occasion permits.

Some of the questions posed by the government to the public in the consultation include:

  • Whether the government should consider facilitating the sale of cannabis in establishments such as lounges and cafes and what other products should be permitted for sale in those establishments?

  • Should there be a governmental body similar to the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario established to oversee the administration of a special occasion permit for cannabis related events and festivals? What conditions should be mandated in order to obtain a special occasion permit?

  • What are the different risks and opportunities associated with cannabis consumption establishments and special event permits as compared to authorized retail cannabis stores?

  • In what capacity should the municipality be involved in cannabis consumption establishments and special occasion permits?

In addition to the consultation with the public, the government will also solicit feedback and expertise from other key stakeholders such as industry representatives, public health and safety organizations, education stakeholders and Indigenous representatives.

These potential new cannabis-related venues, if implemented, will create fruitful business opportunities in the newly open market and will continue to push Ontario forward as one of the leading cannabis-friendly jurisdictions in the world.

If you would like to submit your feedback you can do so here up to March 10, 2010.

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