Businesses and investors are rushing to partner with the 25 winners of the Ontario cannabis retail licence lottery, with offers apparently worth millions of dollars, to be involved in the province's first recreational weed stores set to open this spring.
Olivia Brown, the founder of Hamilton-based Professional Cannabis Consulting, says one of her clients was among the 25 entities selected by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario via lottery, and has fielded three offers today alone.
Suitors of her client, whom Brown says does not want to be named, include large investors from the U.S., the Netherlands and a prominent family based in Hamilton.
The provincial commission announced Friday the 25 entities who can now apply for a cannabis retail licence in Canada's most populous province, out of the 17,320 expressions of interest the government agency received.
Abi Roach, the owner of Toronto-based Hot Box Cafe, says her entry did not win, but she has been in touch with winners on potential partnerships, as allowed under the rules, and has been told other offers are north of $5 million.
The 25 lottery winners have five business days to turn in their applications to the AGCO along with a $6,000 non-refundable fee and a $50,000 letter of credit.