Disaster hits Ontario’s Cannabis Lottery Winners

 

Ballot stuffing catastrophe plaguing the second round of  Ontario’s Cannabis Retail Lottery

 

Basically in Ontario cannabis outlets were chosen through a lottery system – the first were 13 stores spread out across the province. All you needed was to add your name – there were a few thousand applicants – and it didn’t matter if you were in cannabis space or not.

 

Now the second round cannabis lottery just happened and its a real shitshow and the stores aren’t even operational yet. This time you needed to have a store front rented with line of credit. and with over 5000 applicants  – there were 42 licenses given out – 12 for the native reserve. another 13 in the Toronto and surrounding GTA.

 

Now before I get to the results – I just want to mention a few things here.

First – this is for province of Ontario only, prior to legalization there were storefronts getting closed down all throughout the city.

 

The one lounge in Toronto that existed before legalization called HotBox – is been serving clients for years, they are located in Kensington Market in Toronto a hip location and Abi – the owner, is well respected and is president NRML Canada – she even has a storefront ready to go for when she won the lottery – however she didn’t win. she’s  a real advocate that does everything it can be the cannabis culture in Toronto without actually selling flower.

 

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Now with that said, there’s one particular illegal dispensary called CAFE – they have a few locations and to this day are still serving customers. On a side note, they are actually really sleek looking stores despite that concrete blocked walls that police put in front of their store so no one could get in and out. because CAFE is actually an illegal dispensary. CAFE is persisting by setting up in front, on the sidewalk with employees with iPads in hand.

The CAFE’s website is operational and you can buy up flower, vapes, oils, edibles  – all of it using their shopping cart and paying for it using e-transfer.  then go to the outlet and they magically hand it out to you.

 

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The people behind CAFE are  2 men in their 40s – who both live at the condo building where CAFE is located, in fact one lives in the penthouse. They also have long criminal records and keeping the CAFE open seems to be a driving force for them despite more than 70 provincial charges have been laid against CAFE’s staff and landlords since November, the City of Toronto says.

They continue to exist as that location won the cannabis lottery, with ties to Aphria, the son of ex cofounder is the name on the license lottery with the same address as CAFE.  Seemingly it will avoid conflict, at first.   and remember HOTbox – the polar opposite who does everything correct – well the did not win the lottery.

The AGCO, the regulatory body, is going to take a very close look at who the winner of that site is affiliated with they may still be inadmissible for obtaining a licence. The owners of CAFE is close relations from Aphira –  it least now we allegedly know where their supply is coming from.

Since the initial lottery draw, more affiliates are tied to the Aphria the Friendly Stranger and investment firm Green Acre Capital.  In a separate coo – High Life also stuffed the ballots with affiliates.  In total, nearly 1600 of the 4000 submissions have been identified as affiliates or persons acting jointly to secure locations

A few weeks later, we come to learn that the CEO of the Ontario Cannabis Store is resigning. The OCS distributes out to all storefronts, helped launch the OCS with previous experience at a senior level at the LCBO.

Its easy to see that gaming the system is not working but there’s underlying suspicious activity to be concerned about , just as Canntrust is caught selling to the black market, we are sure to hear reports of LP Aphira allegedly doing the same with ties to CAFE.

You read it here and we will continue to keep an eye on the situation and report it.