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Vice - Cannabis

. D. Michael Goldlist v. Registrar, Alcohol, Cannabis and Gaming Regulations and Public Protection Act

In D. Michael Goldlist v. Registrar, Alcohol, Cannabis and Gaming Regulations and Public Protection Act (Div Ct, 2022) the Divisional Court heard an appeal under the Cannabis Licence Act, where they have that odd 'Notice of Proposal to refuse' procedure you see in license regimes sometimes [I last saw it in the Motor Vehicles Dealers Act, s.9 regarding registrations of MV dealers]:
Statutory Scheme

[8] The statutory scheme for the regulation of the sale of recreational cannabis in Ontario is set out in the Cannabis Licence Act, 2018 c. 12, Sched. 2 (the “Act”) and O. Reg. 468/18, General (the “Regulation”) made under the Act. The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (“AGCO”) is responsible for administering the Act and the Regulation.

[9] Cannabis may only be sold at an authorized retail store. In general, each authorized retail store requires at least one CRM. There are various responsibilities that can only be performed by a CRM, though a CRM licence is not required for an individual to work at an authorized store.

[10] Section 5(4) of the Act provides that an applicant is not eligible for a CRM licence in certain circumstances, including where there are “reasonable grounds to believe that the applicant will not, in acting as a cannabis retail manager, act in accordance with the law, or with integrity, honesty or in the public interest, having regard to the past or present conduct of the applicant.”

[11] Pursuant to s. 5(5) of the Act, however, s. 5(4) “does not prevent the issuance of a cannabis retail manager licence to an applicant if the applicant has been convicted of or charged with a prescribed offence under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (Canada) in relation to cannabis.” Those prescribed offences include possession, trafficking, production, and possession or sale for use in production or trafficking of cannabis.

[12] If the Registrar intends to refuse to issue a licence, it must issue a Notice of Proposal to the applicant with written reasons. Pursuant to s. 14(2) of the Act, an applicant may request a hearing before the Licence Appeal Tribunal within 15 days of being served with the Notice of Proposal; otherwise the Registrar may carry out the proposal. Pursuant to s. 15(2) of the Act, the Tribunal may confirm or set aside the Registrar’s proposal or direct the Registrar to take any action specified by the Tribunal that it considers appropriate.
The rest of the case is a useful consideration of a Divisional Court-level cannabis licence appeal, which are relatively new.


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