Haliburton’s Capturing Eden was not successful in its attempt to become the county’s first recreational cannabis store.

The medical cannabis assessment clinic was not amongst the 42 applicants selected for retail store authorization, announced by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) Aug. 21. The store was one of 4,864 eligible expressions of interest submitted in
the draw, which occurred Aug. 20 and was overseen by a third-party fairness monitor according to an AGCO press release.

In a statement, Capturing Eden spoke against the lottery system being used.

“This process lacks the acknowledgement of people within the industry that demonstrate cannabis knowledge and store legitimacy,” the business said. “Store authorizations have resulted in access being clustered in areas, thus failing to meet the needs of Ontarians as a whole.”

The AGCO distributed the selections across five regions. Haliburton is located in the east region, which stretches into the Ottawa area. The east region will receive seven new stores. The closest proposed store to Haliburton went to Huge Shops Ontario Inc., located in the City of Kawartha Lakes at 566 Frank Hill Road, just north of Peterborough.

Three of the east region selections went to Innisfil, a town of approximately 37,000 people. All three of the proposed Innisfil stores are on the same street, Commerce Park Drive. The other three proposed stores in the East region are set to go to Nepean, Collingwood and Barrie.

Lottery winners can now apply for a retail operator licence. Only stores that meet all legal and regulatory requirements will be authorized, the AGCO said.

“The lottery process does not address the social needs within rural Ontario,” Capturing Eden said.

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Joseph Quigley is a staff writer with The Highlander. Joseph is always digging hard for news stories and covers all the latest happenings in the County of Haliburton. He believes in the importance of local news, finding more to every story and listening to marginalized voices. When he’s not working on news, Joseph finds himself getting all-too engaged in social media and cheering on his favourite Toronto Maple Leafs.