An address associated with an illegal cannabis dispensary that continually defied the law by reopening after a series of raids by police and city bylaw officers was one of the winners in the province’s second cannabis store lottery.
The now-notorious CAFE dispensary operated out of 104 Harbord Street — the same address listed on the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario’s (AGCO) website as one of 13 lottery winners in the city of Toronto, and one of 42 total across the province.
The company name associated with 104 Harbord on the government’s website is listed as 11180673 Canada Inc.
The winners now have until Aug. 28 to complete an application to open a store that will be vetted by the AGCO.
The commission says it received more than 4,800 expressions of interest in the lottery.
Unlike the first lottery, applicants in the latest draw had to show that they had secured retail space that could be used as a store if they were selected, and that they had enough capital to open it.
The majority of Toronto winners are located within the downtown core. One shop is being proposed for the Danforth and the former city of York is set to get its first cannabis store near Dufferin Street and Castlefield Avenue.
The rest of the stores will be distributed regionally, with six going to the Greater Toronto Area, 11 in the west region, seven going to the east region, and in the north, one each in Kenora, North Bay, Sault Ste. Marie, Thunder Bay and Timmins.
Three locations on the same street in Innisfil within close proximity were winners, causing some online to question the lottery system.
Innisfil is going to have three retail locations all within a 200m distance. This is one, of many, negatives of a lottery-based system. Merit and logical business sense should have been used. #cannabisbusiness @Ont_AGCO #lotterysystem #Ontario #cannabis pic.twitter.com/LSsUeeHLWW
— Steve Inglis (@SteveInglis8) August 21, 2019
The inherent problem with a lottery system on full display here…three stores on the same street of Innisfil (population 36,000). I suspect this may be an "extenuating circumstance" permitting a move of 1 or 2 of these stores https://t.co/26G07hPWRk
— Trina Fraser (@trinafraser) August 21, 2019
The Weed Lottery was always a terrible idea but it gives us hilarious outcomes, like CAFE winning and all of Eastern Ontario getting 7 new stores but 3 of them being within 200m from each other in Innisfil, on the same street right by the 400 pic.twitter.com/sSks0gMEGS
— jordan (@jordan_epstein) August 21, 2019