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by Stockwatch Business Reporter
The Canadian Securities Exchange Composite Index gained 4.23 points to 386.51 Friday, ending the week up 0.75 point. After the market closed on Thursday, the Ontario government confirmed that it will abandon its current lottery system to award licences for cannabis dispensaries. Ontario will instead adopt a system where anyone can apply for a dispensary licence. On top of that fundamental change, there will no longer be a cap on the number of stores in the province. Starting on Jan. 6, 2020, licensed producers (LPs) can apply for an operator licence. After that is obtained, the LPs will be eligible to apply for store authorization on March 2. Ontario says it will begin authorizing stores at the start of April.
Since cannabis was legalized in Canada on Oct. 17, 2018, Ontario has had plenty of requirements for applicants. Any applicant would have to provide a letter of credit for $50,000 from a Schedule 1 or a Schedule 2 bank and make non-refundable payments along with their applications. Under the new system, these prequalifications have been removed. That should pave the way for a smoother store-opening process.
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