As the regulator for private cannabis retail in Ontario, the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) is the authority to license, regulate and enforce the sale of recreational cannabis in privately-run stores in Ontario. Further, provincial legislation prohibits municipalities from passing a by-law that distinguishes land or building use for cannabis from any other kind of use. Existing municipal requirements in place that apply to all retail use in that municipality would apply to retail cannabis stores.
The AGCO notifies the City of Ottawa when a cannabis store licence holder has applied for a store in Ottawa. Once notified, City staff will:
- Review proposed applications with respect to matters pertaining to the public interest (see definition below), and
- Provide a response to the AGCO with the evaluation of the criteria pertaining to the Key Principles and include any comments received from Ward Councillors.
This process is pursuant to Council Direction dated December 13, 2018.
Information to Applicants
Cannabis production and retail store operation and management are licensed through the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO). During a pre-qualification phase, retail license applicants are required by the AGCO to demonstrate that an appropriate retail site has been secured.
During the license application process, the City of Ottawa provides comments and land use information to the AGCO regarding the suitability of the proposed retail location. This is done in accordance with Council Direction issued on December 13, 2018 further to a motion to opt-in to allow cannabis retail establishments within the City of Ottawa boundaries. This direction is summarized in the below Cannabis Retail Evaluation Criteria. A Cannabis Retail Store Authorization may be issued only if it is not in contravention to the public interest, as set out under the Cannabis Licence Act, 2018. The AGCO uses comments received during the mandated public notice for a Cannabis Retail Store Authorization, in conducting this evaluation.
A cannabis store is considered a retail use in the City’s Zoning By-Law 2008-250, and permitted in zones where a retail store is a listed primary use. Retail uses are permitted in several commercial and mixed-use zones. In addition to setback requirements and permitted uses, these zones also outline standards for building design as it relates to impact on the public realm. For example, a Traditional Mainstreet zone requires that a building have a minimum percentage of transparent windows facing the street. This kind of provision should be considered in conjunction with the Registrar’s Standards for Cannabis Retail Stores, which for example, states that “[l]icensees must ensure that cannabis and accessories are not visible from the exterior of the premises.” Applicants are required to comply with both City of Ottawa standards and AGCO requirements for cannabis retail stores.
In securing a retail site, it is the applicant’s responsibility to review the below evaluation criteria, speak to the appropriate Ward Councillor, and investigate whether potential zoning conflicts exist, in satisfying that the proposed site is appropriate and in keeping with the public interest. Zoning designations can be found on the City’s publicly accessible mapping system through an address search, or by speaking with a Development Information Officer, located at any of the City of Ottawa client service centres.
The Cannabis Licence Act, 2018 and Regulation 468/18, Sec.11(2) requires that cannabis retail establishments provide a minimum 150m setback from any School, as defined under the Education Act. The City requests additional setbacks and considerations as outlined below.
Cannabis Retail Evaluation Criteria
On December 13th, 2018 City of Ottawa Council passed a motion that delegates authority to the General Manager of Planning, Real Estate and Economic Development Department (PRED) to submit formal responses with respect to Cannabis Retail Store Authorization applications in Ottawa, as filed through the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO).
The Provincial legislation provides that the AGCO may not issue a retail store authorization for applications that are not deemed to be in the ‘public interest,’ as defined in s. 10 of Regulation 468/18 as meaning:
- protecting public health and safety,
- protecting youth and restricting their access to cannabis, and
- preventing illicit activities in relation to cannabis.
Under the Cannabis Licence Act, 2018, interested parties have 15 calendar days to submit comments regarding cannabis retail applications based on matters of public interest. The AGCO considers comments received from the municipality and other respondents in evaluating whether applications are in the public interest.
City comments are to include reference to the following evaluation criteria, further to concerns raised in the Staff Reports and Summaries of Public Interest:
Is the proposed establishment within 150 metres of another Licensed Cannabis Store?
Cannabis retail stores should maintain a 150 metre distance separation, as the Board of Health has noted concerns that excessive clustering and geographic concentration of cannabis retail outlets may encourage undesirable health outcomes.
Is the proposed establishment within 150 metres of a publicly-owned and/or operated: recreational facility, community centre, library, public or private school, or active-use public park?
Licensed Cannabis Stores should maintain a 150 metre distance separation from sensitive uses including schools and facilities analogous to schools that provide a community function or are locations where youth congregate. Separation may prevent the normalization of cannabis use.
Is the proposed establishment: (1) located in a zone where ‘Retail Store’ is a listed principal use (and not a legal non-conforming use), and (2) not located in a residential zone permitting retail, such as a Local Commercial or Neighbourhood Commercial (small c-suffix) zone?
Cannabis retail stores should be restricted to zones of a commercial focus where ‘retail store’ is a principal use in the Zoning By-law. Locations where retail is secondary or accessory to another use are not appropriate, including locations in a residential context.
Have factors of local importance been expressed by the Ward Councillor?
Consideration should be given to any concerns raised by the Ward Councillor.
Should the location of a proposed cannabis retail store conflict with any of the above criteria, the applicant is advised that the City will file an objection to the granting of a license with AGCO through the public commenting process.
How residents submit comments
Send your comments directly to the AGCO using the How to file a written submission in response to a cannabis retail store authorization application website. Resident comments are not included in the City’s response to the AGCO. Residents may search for current open applications for cannabis retail store licences and submit comments to the AGCO by the deadline identified on the AGCO website.
License requirements – Public interest
Provincial legislation provides that the AGCO may not issue a cannabis retail store authorization for application deemed not to be in the “public interest”, as defined in s. 10 of Regulation 468/18. Only the following matters are matters of public interest:
- Protecting public health and safety
- Protecting youth and restricting their access to cannabis, and
- Preventing illicit activities in relation to cannabis.
Written submissions objecting to the cannabis retail store location must address how the store location is not acceptable based on the above definition of the public interest.
City of Ottawa Comments – Completed Applications
The City of Ottawa has sent the following comments to the AGCO for past applications:
- AGCO# 943173 Unplug Cannabis Co., 1375 Trim Road
- AGCO# 946879 The Oz Store, 3022 St. Joseph Boulevard Unit B
- AGCO# 1091022 Budroom, 900 Watters Road
- AGCO# 947389 Highties Cannabis Store, 2122 St. Joseph Boulevard
- AGCO# 999472 ShinyBud Cannabis Co. , 5959 Jeanne D'arc Boulevard South
- AGCO# 1018848 Inspired Cannabis Co. , 6473 Jeanne D'arc Boulevard North Unit 22
- AGCO# 1175434 Highties Cannabis Store, 2520 Innes Road
- AGCO # 731575 One Plant Barrhaven, 4335 Strandherd Drive
- AGCO# 927689 Tokyo Smoke, 50 Marketplace Avenue, Unit J009
- AGCO #1026051 Smiley’s Cannabis, 3780 Fallowfield Road, Unit 7
- AGCO #1232323 Highties Cannabis Store, 3023 Cedarview Road
- AGCO# 976576 Honey Pot, 499 Terry Fox Drive Unit 60
- AGCO # 1049710 Recreational Cannabis Store, 806 March Road
- AGCO # 1187587 Canna Cabana, 836 March Road
- AGCO # 1038025 Unplug Cannabis Company, 4055 Carling Avenue
- AGCO# 938755 Spiritleaf, 1250 Stittsville Main Street, Unit C10
- AGCO# 951428 Ouid, 5754 Hazeldean Road, Unit A3
- AGCO# 1049318 Stash and Co., 1122 Carp Road
- AGCO# 1167849 Shinybud Cannabis, 1261 Stittsville Main
- AGCO# 1148818 Ouid, 1539 Stittsville Main
- AGCO# 922185 Chrontact Cannabis, 2280 Carling Avenue, Suite 1
- AGCO# 1097835 Cannaverse, 3090 Carling Avenue
- AGCO# 1152965 Shinybud Cannabis Co., 2200 Carling Avenue
- AGCO# 946726 Pure Leaf Connoisseur, 2027 Robertson Road
- AGCO# 943173 Spiritleaf, 2150 Robertson Road, Unit B2
- AGCO# 903529 Canna North Cannabis Store, 2547 Baseline Road
- AGCO # 734844 ABC Cannabis, 1642 Merivale Road
- AGCO # 1023866 ABC MIHI, 1371 Woodroffe Avenue
- AGCO # 1125621 ShinyBud Cannabis Co., 2090 Robertson Road
AGCO #1254762 Shinybud Cannabis Co. Nepean, 1600 Merivale Road
- AGCO# 943452 Sugar Leaf, 250 Greenbank Road, Unit 1B
- AGCO# 946694 Merivale, 1445 Merivale Road
- AGCO# 1233498 BlueBird Cannabis, 3 Roydon Place
- AGCO# 1156992 SpiritLeaf, 529 Hunt Club
- AGCO# 1127489 Northern Helm, 780 Baseline Road
- AGCO# 1097653 Cannaverse, 1465 Merivale Road
- AGCO# 1125656 Uncle Herbs Cannabis, 1527 Merivale Road
- AGCO #1109245 The Herbary, 1121 Meadowlands Drive East
- AGCO# 1241596 Tweed, 2162 Prince of Wales Drive
- AGCO# 903190 Canna North Cannabis Store, 800 Hunt Club Road, Unit 3
- AGCO# 1043690 Spiritleaf South Keys, 1009 Daze Street
- AGCO# 1241568 Tweed, 1970 Walkley Road
- AGCO# 1338793 BlueBird Canada Co., 3500 Hawthorne Road
- AGCO# 1027909 Camp Cannabis - Gloucester, 2200 Montreal Road, Suite A2
- AGCO# 1012559 Wavy, 2084 Montreal Road
- AGCO# 947047 1Goodlife, 1638 Cyrville Road
- AGCO# 1164623 Canna Cabana, 1021 Cyrville Road
- AGCO# 1110490 Inspired Cannabis, 1980 Ogilvie Road
- AGCO# 1022170 Purple Meadow Cannabis, 2059 Meadowbrook Road
- AGCO# 1305195 Go Green Cannabis Co., 1756 Montreal Road
- AGCO# 947002 Meta Cannabis Co. Byward, 87 Clarence Street
- AGCO# 944143 Meta Cannabis Co. Rideau, 111 Rideau Street
- AGCO# 944970 Canna Cabana Ottawa, 115 Parent Avenue
- AGCO# 944978 South of Temperance - Rideau, 171 Rideau Street
- AGCO# 1006696 Highties Cannabis Store , 179 Montreal Road, Suite 177
- AGCO# 998944 The Grove, 381A Montreal Road
- AGCO# 443356 Byward Market Cannabis, 129 York Street
- AGCO# 443356 Byward Market Cannabis, 129 York Street
- AGCO# 1221838 Bluebird Cannabis, 27 York Street
- AGCO# 1218432 Tokyo Smoke, 50 Rideau Street
- AGCO# 1232224 TBA, 204 Rideau Street
- AGCO# 1139863 Greenbox Cannabis, 287 Montreal Road
- AGCO# 1225910 Collective Growers, 312 Somerset Street
- AGCO# 1155557 Purple Meadow Cannabis, 366 Rideau Street
- AGCO# 1053043 Highties Cannabis Store, 484 Rideau Street
- AGCO# 1353922 Rabbit Hole, 503 Rideau Street
- AGCO# 1514978 Buzzed Buds, 179 George Street
- AGCO# 996806 Collective Growers, 534 Montreal Road
- AGCO# 1241547 Munchies Cannabis, 131 Beechwood Avenue
- AGCO# 935035 Friendly Stranger Spark Street Ottawa, 101 Queen Street Unit 1
- AGCO# 946779 Weed Dispensary Ottawa, 117 Bank Street
- AGCO# 893798 Canna North Cannabis Store, 141 Preston Street, Unit 1
- AGCO# 944950 Cannabis Emporium, 243-245 Bank Street
- AGCO# 1003176 Pakalolo, 258 Elgin Street
- AGCO# 952098 Aloha Room, 327 Bank Street
- AGCO # 445624 HOBO Recreational Cannabis Store, 391 Bank Street
- AGCO # 1005631 Collective Growers, 148 Sparks Street
- AGCO # 1244521 Hamlinfitzpatrick, 234 Laurier Street
- AGCO # 1175422 The Oz Store, 294 Somerset Street
- AGCO # 1092382 Plateau, 440 Preston Street
- AGCO # 1249990 BlueBird Cannabis Co, 502 Gladstone Avenue
- AGCO # 1202118 Twist Cannabis, 565 Bronson Avenue
- AGCO #1097669 Sessions Cannabis, 603 Somerset Street West
- AGCO #1539803 Electrical Banana, 693 Somerset Street West
- AGCO # 1529927 Cheech and Chong Cannabis, 838 Somerset Street West
- AGCO# 1041621 Unplug Cannabis Co., 261 Richmond Road
- AGCO# 914753 High Flight Cannabis Co., 315A Richmond Road
- AGCO# 747581 Tokyo Smoke, 1000 Wellington Street West
- AGCO# 942507 Spiritleaf, 1200 Wellington Street West
- AGCO# 443269 Superette, 1306 Wellington Street
- AGCO# 1121200 True North Cannabis Co, 1262 Wellington Street
- AGCO# 1102519 Dutch Love Cannabis Hampton Park, 1405 Carling Avenue
AGCO #1177984 Secret Gardens Cannabis, 1018 Wellington Street West
- AGCO# 861233 Spiritleaf, 888 Meadowlands Drive East Unit 7
- AGCO# 955077 Corner Cannabis, 3310 McCarthy Road, Unit 2006
- AGCO# 1151740 Good Nature Cannabis, 1234 Merivale Road, Unit 5
- AGCO# 1122104 London HY, 3685 Riverside Drive
- AGCO# 929150 The Good Cannabis Company, 809 Bank Street
- AGCO# 946870 Superette, 852 Bank Street, Units 105 & 106
- AGCO# 937777 Gardens Cannabis, 891 Bank Street
- AGCO# 1053023 Highties Cannabis Store, 769 Bank Street
- AGCO# 1215970 Planet Earth Cannabis, 1666 Bank Street
- AGCO #1183255 The Big Bamboo Cannabis Company, 144 Renfrew Avenue
- AGCO #1183852 One Plant Glebe, 900 Bank Street, Unit 150
- AGCO# 949138 Choom Cannabis, 500 Terminal Avenue, Unit 10
- AGCO# 995398 Flower Haze Cannabis Boutique, 1571 Bank Street
- AGCO# 1111103 Mihis, 1670 Heron Road
- AGCO# 1146477 Shinybud Cannabis Company, 2702 Alta Vista Drive
- AGCO# 1107633 Weed Shop Ottawa, 2786 Lancaster Road
- AGCO #1074549 Bud Room, 1910 St. Laurent Boulevard, Unit C003
- AGCO # 1537429 High Life Dispensary, 1581 Bank Street
- AGCO #1204101 HeavenlyHemp, 1727A St. Laurent Boulevard
- AGCO# 943173 One Plant Orleans, 4240 Innes Road Unit J3
- AGCO# 1100198 Tokyo Smoke, 2006 Mer Bleue
- AGCO# 1142528 Mary J's Cannabis, 1968 Portobello Boulevard
- AGCO# 1111508 Spiritleaf Orleans, 2026 Tenth Line Road
- AGCO# 1105959 Highties Cannabis Store, 2288 Tenth Line Road
- AGCO# 1049709 5531 Ann Street Recreational Cannabis Store, 5530 Manotick Main Street
- AGCO# 1211420 Natural Mystic Cannabis & CBD, 5556 Manotick Main Street
AGCO #1031855 Gather and Grow Recreational Cannabis, 6179 Perth Steet, Unit 220, Richmond
- AGCO# 1052364 Unplug Cannabis Company, 665 Earl Armstrong Road, Unit 8
- AGCO# 1094110 Mary J's Cannabis, 4456 Limebank Road
- AGCO# 1407493 Pakalolo, 111 Shuttleworth Drive
- AGCO# 959765 Athena Cannabis, 782 Eagleson Road
- AGCO# 1019455 Camp Cannabis, 462 Hazeldean, Unit 9
- AGCO# 998948 Roll'd Cannabis Company, 500 Hazeldean Road, Suite 105
- AGCO# 1018159 HURBN, 767 Silver Seven Road, Unit 26
- AGCO# 1065059 Zephyr Cannabis, 415 Hazeldean Road, unit c
- AGCO# 1159027 Shinybud Cannabis Co. 420 Kanata, 420 Hazeldean Road, Unit 8
- AGCO# 1511837 Canatime, 484 Hazeldean Road
For more information, contact:
Carol Ruddy, Planner
Planning, Real Estate and Economic Development Department
City of Ottawa
110 Laurier Avenue West. Ottawa, ON
email : CannabisRetail@ottawa.ca
tel :613-580-2424, ext. 28457