Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Ontario Receives Nearly 900 Initial-Stage Dispensary Applications Since Early January

By Eric Volkman – Apr 11, 2020 at 5:37PM

You’re reading a free article with opinions that may differ from The Motley Fool’s Premium Investing Services. Become a Motley Fool member today to get instant access to our top analyst recommendations, in-depth research, investing resources, and more. Learn More

Yet the province still has very few marijuana stores in operation relative to its population.

Ontario, the most populous out of Canada's 10 provinces, could potentially be the one most populated with marijuana dispensaries. According to data provided to Marijuana Business Daily by the province's Alcohol and Gaming Commission, it has received almost 900 applications for retail operator licenses (ROLs) since Jan. 6.

That was the date when the province abandoned its former lottery system of license granting for a completely open application process, in which any business could apply.

Marijuana bud with Canadian flag in the background.

Image source: Getty Images.

A retail operator license is the first permit a potential licensed dispensary operation must obtain. The second and last is retail store authorization (RSA); in that phase, applicants are required to provide details of their planned operation like physical location and store layout.

Any business receiving an ROL is permitted to apply for up to 10 RSAs.

At the moment, the commission has halted the issuance of RSAs because of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus outbreak. It has, however, been processing ROLs. All told, to date it has awarded 423 ROLs and 59 RSAs.

Despite that activity, many marijuana investors and industry pundits still consider Ontario to be severely underpopulated with dispensaries. As of early April it only had 52, a very thin number considering that it is home to nearly 15 million people and contains Canada's most populous city, Toronto.

Ontario is also where a clutch of top Canadian marijuana companies, both retailers and producers, have planted their headquarters. One relatively large one is Cronos Group (CRON -3.75%), which is based in Toronto. Cronos' wares are common sights on dispensary shelves throughout its native province.

On Thursday, Cronos' stock fell by 4.6%, in contrast to the gains enjoyed by both peer marijuana stocks and the broader equities market. 

Eric Volkman has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Invest Smarter with The Motley Fool

Join Over 1 Million Premium Members Receiving…

  • New Stock Picks Each Month
  • Detailed Analysis of Companies
  • Model Portfolios
  • Live Streaming During Market Hours
  • And Much More
Get Started Now

Stocks Mentioned

Cronos Group Stock Quote
Cronos Group
CRON
$2.82 (-3.75%) $0.11

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

Related Articles

Motley Fool Returns

Motley Fool Stock Advisor

Market-beating stocks from our award-winning analyst team.

Stock Advisor Returns
332%
 
S&P 500 Returns
104%

Calculated by average return of all stock recommendations since inception of the Stock Advisor service in February of 2002. Returns as of 10/01/2022.

Discounted offers are only available to new members. Stock Advisor list price is $199 per year.

Premium Investing Services

Invest better with The Motley Fool. Get stock recommendations, portfolio guidance, and more from The Motley Fool's premium services.