The Canadian province of Ontario in August completed a second round of licensing recreational cannabis stores, with the aim of establishing 50 new retailers that would start trading as early as October.

But the Canadian province's plan is in jeopardy after a group of 11 disqualified applicants filed judicial review applications disputing their exclusion from obtaining a licence because the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) said they failed to provide the required letters of credit (L/Cs).

Legal challenge

The applicants claim they submitted the required L/Cs to AGCO within five business days of receiving a notification letter and in total compliance with the commission's rules according to their filing.

But soon afterwards AGCO notified the applicants that they had missed the five business day deadline to submit L/Cs.

Legislative reform

Canada announced that recreational use of cannabis would no longer violate criminal law as of 17 October 2018.

In April, Ontario's government issued licences for 25 stores in the first licensing round, but several had not opened by the date required by the licence (DC World News, 5 April 2019).

This article represents the views of the author and not necessarily those of the ICC or Coastline Solutions.