Eleven Applicants Who “Missed the Deadline” Challenge AGCO in Court – LPC
Superior Court Justice David Corbett ordered a cannabis licensing stay in Ontario after 11 disqualified applicants challenged the ruling in court. The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario’s (AGCO) cannabis licence lottery drew 42 names, who were required to file documents within five business days to continue the process. Those include a letter of credit, proof of retail space, and $10,000 in fees. The agency announced last month that 12 licence applicants had been disqualified for not filing those documents.
That’s where things get sticky. The rules state that applicants must comply “within five (5) business days of the Registrar notifying the Applicant of their selection”. The reason for the cannabis licensing stay is that 11 licence applicants state that they submitted the required documentation five days after their notification letter. However, the AGCO argues that it sent an email that bounced, which resulted in the agency sending registered letters instead.
“The government says the registered letter was meaningless — it was the bounced-back email that counted,” said Peter Brauti, the lawyer representing the 11 applicants. “To my mind, this is just absolutely crazy the way this thing transpired.”
Cannabis Licensing Stay Affects Others – LPC
One of the AGCO’s arguments was that the cannabis licensing stay would affect the 11 others who were bumped up the list. However, lawyers for the first group argued that fact shouldn’t have an impact the outcome.
Clouding the waters was the fact that seven of the disqualified applicants are from HighLife Cannabis Co. There hasn’t been a clear indication of why all seven were disqualified, though it does seem highly coincidental. HighLife’s name was connected with over 650 cannabis licence applications.
Perhaps the results of this court-ordered cannabis licensing stay will shed more light on that.
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