Under Ontario’s cannabis regulations, pot retailers had to open their doors to customers by April 15, 2019. Those who failed to open by this date had to face penalties.
It’s been more than a week since the government-set deadline, and 11 stores are still not open for business. These stores are among the 25 businesses that have been granted a license by the province.
Each of the 11 stores has, therefore, been fined $12,500 for not complying with the rules.
The 25 licensees were selected via government lottery to open the province’s first brick-and-mortar pot stores on April 1. However, only less than half of them had met the deadline.
The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario had set up a system of escalating penalties for retailers who did not start serving customers on time.
The regulatory agency said that it has drawn down on letters of credit that have been submitted by the licensees, taking $12,500 from the initial $50,000.
According to the rules, those stores that do not open by the end of the month could have further penalties.
Currently, only 13 cannabis shops operate across the province.