Windsor-Essex residents may soon be able to legally purchase cannabis at a retail establishment.
A Windsor businessman has been chosen by lottery to begin the process of applying for a legal cannabis retail licence, for the purpose of opening a brick-and-mortar cannabis retailer in the downtown core. The lottery was conducted by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) Tuesday and announced Wednesday morning.
According to the licence application provided by AGCO, the Windsor store is proposed to be located at 545 Ouellette Ave. Kyriakos G. Anastasiadis is listed as the official licensee. The location was among 42 that were chosen across Ontario and 11 in the West Region of the province. An additional 45 locations were placed on a waitlist.
Windsor was not chosen in the first round of proposed licences before the first physical locations opened this spring. Windsor City Council voted in January against opting-out of having a pot store in the city.
Selection in the AGCO lottery is not necessarily a done deal for a cannabis store, however. The applicants chosen in the lottery are invited to begin the full licence application process, of which the deadline is one week from Wednesday. At that time, AGCO will examine each applicant to ensure they have met all requirements. A licence to open a cannabis store will not be granted if all points have not been satisfied. These guidelines are in accordance with the Ontario Cannabis Licence Act, as well as the federal Cannabis Control Act of 2017.
The other Windsor-Essex municipalities that have opted-in for physical cannabis stores are Essex, Kingsville, Amherstburg and Leamington. Town councils in Lakeshore, LaSalle and Tecumseh said no.
A Sarnia application has been waitlisted by AGCO. Chatham-Kent, meanwhile, was not chosen for a potential store location in this round.