Would-be London pot shop chopped as regulator lottery winner disqualified

Would-be London pot shop chopped as regulator lottery winner disqualified

A winner from Ontario’s second pot lottery who was planning to open a cannabis retail store in northwest London has been disqualified. Robert Chomiak submitted a proposal to open a recreational pot shop in a commercial plaza at 1310 Fanshawe Park Rd. W. in Hyde Park. There already are three brick-and-mortar marijauana stores operating in London – the only municipality in Southwestern Ontario to land any of the first 25 outlets – and the city was on track to score another two following the second lottery in the summer. But Chomiak’s application – one of 42 selected from nearly 5,000 expressions of interest – was disqualified last Thursday, says the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO), the province’s pot regulator. According to the AGCO, Chomiak’s application was disqualified under lottery rules that required successful applicants to submit a $50,000 letter of credit from a financial institution, provide proof that a retail space had been secured and pay fees of $10,000 within five business days of announcement of the lottery draw. “While I am unable to speak to the status of individual applications, I can say that the lottery rules for the allocation lottery were explicit . . . those who did not meet those requirements were disqualified,” AGCO spokesperson Ray Kahnert said in an email. Chomiak, who couldn’t be reached for comment Tuesday, proposed opening his store in a plaza at the corner of Fanshawe Park and Hyde Park roads. The plaza houses Winners, WalMart, Old Navy and several other big box stores. In total, 20 applications have been disqualified since the Aug. 20 draw. Eleven of the disqualified lottery winners launched a legal challenge that was dismissed last month. However, before the case was dismissed, a judge imposed a two-week injunction on the AGCO, putting a halt to processing cannabis store…

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