Ontario’s weed regulators penalized 12 pot shops for not being open for business by April 1.
According to a statement, Canada’s Alcohol and Gaming Commission reminded everyone that, “This is not a fine, it was a condition of participating.”
Under the province’s weed licensing rules, Ontario’s retail marijuana stores had to be ready to sell cannabis on April 1. Only 10 businesses opened that day out of the 25 that were expected to go live.
The reasons for the opening delays varied according to the individual businesses. Some did not meet building codes, while others didn’t have enough product to stock their shelves.
For shops that missed the deadline, the penalty included a $12,500 cut from the stores’ “$50,000 letter of credit,” wrote Global News. Failure to open by April 15 results in an additional loss of $12,500. If the shops aren’t slinging sativa by the end of April, they lose the entire letter of credit.
A letter of credit is a bank-issued document that promises to pay a specific amount under specific conditions. For Ontario’s weed retailers, the letter of credit promises to pay the provincial government if certain criteria aren’t met, like opening for business on time.
Prior to April 1, Ontario residents could only purchase cannabis online from the Ontario Cannabis Store, a government-run weed producer. In Canada, all licensed cannabis is cultivated at government facilities.
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