Ontario and Cannabis

pot cannibis business

The Provincial government has announced as of July 25th 2018, its decisions under the new Ford administration on how marijuana wholesale, retails and distribution channels will take effect in Ontario.

The breakdown is as follows:

Retail Storefront – START YOUR BUSINESS!!!!

It has been a long time coming and over 2 separate Provincial government calendars but it appears we finally have some definitive answers regarding cannabis sales in Ontario.

The private sector will be allocated the ability to operate physical storefront locations for cannabis sales. This permits the private sector to establish retail locations for individuals who wish to walk into a physical location to purchase marijuana. There does not appear to be any discussion, at least so far, on what additional products would be allowable for business owners to sell such as edibles, oils etc.

It is recommended that you contact your local or municipal government to see if there are any parameters or distinctions as to where cannabis store fronts may be established. There may be restrictions.

It is unclear yet as to whether the government will operate physical locations for the cannabis stores directly.

Wholesale and Distribution

The government will operate the wholesale and distribution of marijuana. These items will not be maintained in the hands of the private sector.

Online Sales

The conservative government under Doug Ford has said it will establish online sales thru software provided by shopify. There does not appear to be any information related to whether the private sector can also provide cannabis online as well. It may be recommended to contact the Province under ONTARIO.CA to make any inquiries regarding the accessibility to online sales for your business.

For the better part of a year, we have had business owners and entrepreneurs reaching out to us to see if individuals could open a storefront or an online store and we haven’t had any clear instructions from the government on how the new business of cannabis sales would be brought into our Province.

If you would like to begin to operate a retail cannabis store, we can finally say that it appears you may do so as of October 17, 2018.

Ontario Business Central has kept updated blogs over the last year and a half as we have had such a high volume of people reaching out to us to see if they were allowed to open a business in this industry. For many months, we have advised caution to opening a business in this sector. We can finally say, it looks like Ontario is open for business for those of you who wish to do so.

We recommend that you contact both the Province of Ontario and your municipal office to ensure you completely understand the regulations before proceeding.



Ontario Business Central would be honoured to assist you to set up your business in this new industry coming into Ontario.

If you wish for us to assist you here are the links to both operate a small business (Master Business Licence) or to incorporate.

Master Business Licence

Ontario Incorporation

Federal Incorporation

If you wish to gain information related to the difference between these 2 forms of establishing a business, here is additional information in a blog we posted a while ago relating to the difference between the two.



Ontario Business Central has assisted thousands of clients each year to make their dream of self employment a reality. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to our staff for additional information and assistance.

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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.