Marijuana and Ontario Update

legalized marijuana

We have taken a deep dive to provide you with the most recent information on cannabis and the Province of Ontario. We will lay out the information as simply as possible so you, as an entrepreneur, know what is involved and the steps that need to be taken to purchase and sell recreational marijuana.


Private Consumption

As of October 17, 2018
The Province of Ontario will launch an online government retail store to sell recreational marijuana. This is the first phase of introducing marijuana to the general public for individual purchases and consumption. There will be access to dried flowers, oils, capsules, pre-rolled joints and accessories such as vapers, rolling papers, and pipes available for sale.

These items will be available through the OCS Ontario Cannabis Store.

When going online, you will be able to purchase up to 30 grams (1 ounce) of marijuana per order, to be delivered to your home address via Canada Post. You must be 19 years of age, and when the package is delivered to you, photo ID will be required before you’re given the package. Methods of payment include both Visa and Mastercard and delivery takes 3 days.

Here is the link to the OCS website for individual sales of marijuana.

The Province of Ontario will be the only online retailer for the purchase of cannabis and accessories. The private sector is to operate stores in Ontario for walk-in purchases. There will not be the legal availability to purchase cannabis from a brick and mortar for some time, as the Province is still working on the details.


The Province of Ontario has updated their information from August 13, 2018, to include the application to those who wish to operate a retail outlet for cannabis in Ontario. The application is currently listed but not available to download as of yet. There is speculation that the application will be downloadable by the end of October into November, but that overall review and acceptance of applications for licensing may take until April of 2019.

If you are interested in having a brick and mortar storefront for the sale of cannabis, here are some details of what is required. An application and licensing can be obtained through the AGCO in Ontario.


The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario has been given the responsibility of taking in and approving applications within Ontario for the sale and distribution of cannabis. As of our publication date, applications are not yet available, as the Province of Ontario has not yet finalized the details for the private sector sales. The good news is that you can follow the Gaming Commission on Twitter and reference back to either us at Ontario Business Central or the Commission itself for updates as to when the application will be available.

Visit the AGCO

AGCO – Licences & Authorizations

Follow them on Twitter at

Another option is to send an email to with ‘Subscribe’ in the subject line, which will allow you the opportunity to obtain email updates on the cannabis licensing in Ontario.


The Federal Government has already established and has licensed many producers, including individuals and business, for the cultivation, production, and packaging of medical marijuana. There are separate licenses depending on your requirements.

Cultivating is for individuals who wish to grow marijuana for personal use. Producing Cannabis is for those who wish to grow and license cannabis products for medical purposes

solely. Packaging is a requirement of those selling medical marijuana and is similar to the stamping you see on a prescription bottle provided by your pharmacist currently for antibiotics etc.

Individuals who sell medical marijuana must have the federal stamping and individuals who possess medical marijuana must have the cannabis contained in the bottle with the stamping label on the side.

Here is the link for the applications

Additional information


The Province of Ontario will want both a criminal background check and financial records from individuals wanting to have a storefront.

Criminal Record
The criminal background checks are requested and completed by your local police station. The record typically takes weeks to obtain. This may be required by not only you but also your spouse.

Financial Records
The Province will be requesting information related to your financial well-being. This may include bankruptcy or Official Receiver search requests showing you are solvent. They may require you to provide details as to any assets and liabilities, as well to ensure you are financially suitable to their requirements for obtaining licenses.


To complete an incorporation for your cannabis business in Ontario, you can choose between an Ontario or Federal Incorporation.

Ontario Incorporation

  • Provides name protection within the Province of Ontario for the exact business name
  • There are no annual requirements with the Province to maintain your incorporation
  • Processing is on a same-day basis
  • Personal liability protection is provided to keep your assets separate as much as possible from your business risks and liabilities
  • Cost on average range from $600.00 to $700.00

Federal Incorporation

  • Provides the highest level of name protection across Canada, outside of trademarking
  • Federal examiners review and approve or decline the business name, so a strong and unique business name is required to gain approval
  • Acronyms and general wording are mostly refused
  • Processing over 1 to 2 business days
  • Personal liability protection is provided to keep your assets separate as much as possible from your business risks and liabilities
  • Cost on average range from $450.00 to $550.00

Choosing a business name

We recommend using words or wording that allow the consumer to understand exactly what you are selling and that this is what they are looking for. You can use any of the industry keywords affiliated with the sale of cannabis including marijuana, cannabis, pot, dispensary, and other affiliated words.Unless you are selling medical marijuana, we recommend not using these words. Your business name is the first step in branding your business and how you want to convey to people. Have some fun and come up with a number of business names. If you want, you can first search Google to see if you can find any existing businesses using the same keywords you wish to use for the business. When you have a name you would like to use for the incorporation, we will do a secondary search called the NUANS. We can complete the preliminary business name search and/or NUANS report to ensure the name is available for use.

ONTARIO Incorporation (Preliminary and NUANS included)

FEDERAL Incorporation (Preliminary and NUANS included

If you wish to determine solely if the name is available we can complete a preliminary or NUANS report for the name prior to incorporation.

Preliminary Business Name Search

NUANS Report

At Ontario Business Central Inc., we aim to make this process as easy and seamless as possible for you. If we can be of assistance, or if you have any questions about this service, please feel free to reach out to our staff for any clarification or assistance you may require.
Toll-Free: 1-800-280-1913
Local: 1-416-599-9009
Fax: 1-866-294-4363
Office Hours: 9:00am – 5:00pm
Monday – Friday E.S.T.

Ontario Business Central Inc. is not a law firm and cannot provide a legal opinion or advice. This information is to assist you in understanding the requirements of registration within the chosen jurisdiction. It is always recommended, when you have legal or accounting questions that you speak to a qualified professional.