Apply for a Retail Operator Licence

Learn how to apply for a cannabis Retail Operator Licence.

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You can apply for, manage and renew your cannabis Retail Operator Licence online through iAGCO


2-year term: $6,000.
2-year renewal term: $2,000.
4-year renewal term: $4,000.

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To get a Retail Operator Licence, you must:

  • be 19 years or older (this includes directors, officers and shareholders of corporations)
  • not be convicted or charged with any crimes under the Cannabis Licence Act, Cannabis Control Act (CCA) or Cannabis Act (CA)
  • not be involved in activities that go against laws in the CCA or CA  
  • have no ties (now or ever) to a criminal organization
  • have filed all your tax returns and not owe any money to Revenue Canada
  • make sure that if you apply as a corporation, less than 25% is owned or controlled by licensed producers or anyone associated with them  
  • complete the application process with honesty and integrity  
  • not have had a past Retail Store Authorization taken away  

For information on what you need to do to qualify for a Retail Operator Licence, please read:

You won’t qualify for a Retail Operator Licence if:

  • The AGCO doesn’t believe that you’ll be a responsible operator of a cannabis retail store business
  • You haven’t filed your tax return, or you owe the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) money
  • You have a business number with the CRA and haven’t filed a tax return
  • You’re making the application as a corporation, and more than 25 percent of the corporation is owned or controlled by a licensed producer, or someone linked to a producer

You and anyone you list on your application must go through a background check as part of the eligibility review process.

Once approved, you’ll get a Retail Operator Licence. This will contain your licence number, expiry date and any conditions on the licence.

Note: The cannabis Retail Operator Licence isn’t a licence to produce cannabis. For more information on becoming a licensed producer, please visit the Health Canada website.


You must pay a fee when you first apply for a cannabis Retail Operator Licence. You won’t get your money back if you withdraw your application, or if the AGCO refuses to issue the licence for any reason.

When reviewing your application, the AGCO might investigate you or anyone else you’re going into business with. We may also ask for additional fees if we must investigate.

Type of applicationFee (two-year term) Fee (four-year term) 
New application$6,000N/A

Step 1: Prepare your application

Before you apply for a cannabis Retail Operator Licence, you’ll need to provide the following information.

  1. Your tax compliance verification confirmation code
    Use the Ontario Ministry of Finance’s Tax Compliance Verification (TCV) portal to check if your business is in good standing with your tax obligations. This portal will generate your TCV number, which you’ll need for this application.
  2. Schematic diagram
    If you have a corporate structure with more than one level, you must provide a diagram that shows the relationship among parent, controlling, subsidiary, affiliated and commonly controlled companies. In the case of a corporation, ownership identified must total 100%.
  3. Details of shares
    You must provide a document that lists all classes and series of shares in the business. For each class/series, include its name, number of authorized shares, number of issued shares, any rights, privileges, restrictions, conditions. Please also provide the name of each shareholder who meets the percentage threshold requirements set out for cannabis applicants.
  4. Financial statements
    You’ll need to provide financial statements, including balance sheets, income statements and cash flow statements for the last fiscal year. If you have them, please provide audited consolidated financial statements.
  5. Tax return and tax assessment
    Please provide a completed tax return and tax assessment for the last fiscal year available.
  6. Personal history
    Using the form provided on iAGCO, sole proprietors and disclosed individuals must provide a personal history of employment or unemployment (education, parental leave, etc.).
  7. Third party agreements
    See the supplementary questionnaire for more information. Applicants must provide all applicable third party agreements.
  8. Additional documents
    You’ll need to provide one or more of these documents:
    • certificate or articles of incorporation
    • charter or by-laws
    • partnership agreement
    • limited partnership agreement
    • limited partnership declaration
    • shareholder’s agreement
    • trust agreement
    • entity disclosure
    • personal disclosure

Before applying online for a Retail Operator Licence, you should also:

Step 2: Apply online

To get a cannabis Retail Operator Licence, you’ll need to create an account on the iAGCO portal.

Once you’ve set up your iAGCO account, you can:

  • Apply for your cannabis Retail Operator Licence
  • Provide additional information
  • Manage your licence

Apply for a licence now

Step 3: Wait for a decision

The AGCO will assess your application based on possible risks to public safety or public interest. If we have concerns, we may ask for more information. We may also apply conditions to help manage risk. Learn more about risk-based licensing.

The AGCO tries to process applications promptly. However, there might be delays if:

  • your application requires closer inspection
  • we need more information
  • you have a complex corporate structure
  • you’re slow to respond to requests for clarification
  • you don’t provide us with the information or documents we’ve asked for
  • the complexity of any third-party agreements
  • the number of interested parties

The Registrar will consider every application for a retail operator licence. It may:

  • issue the retail licence if you’ve met the application requirements and paid the required fee
  • issue the retail operator licence with proposed conditions, which will be attached
  • issue a proposal to refuse the application

If you receive a proposal to refuse the application, you can ask for a hearing. You can also appeal in front of the Licence Appeal Tribunal (LAT). For more information about the LAT, please visit the LAT website.

Background check

You, as well as officers, directors and managers of your business, might have to go through a police and financial background check as part of the standard application process.

Know your responsibilities

As a licensee, you must meet the Registrar’s Standards for your registration. You must follow related laws and regulations, including the Cannabis Licence Act. You also must adhere to any Terms and Conditions.   

Make sure you understand all your responsibilities as a licensee. Read the resources available to help you better understand how to sell cannabis responsibly and stay in compliance.


Everyone who works in a cannabis retail store must pass the AGCO-approved CannSell training before their first day of work.

Notice of proposal

The AGCO will serve a notice of proposal (NOP) if we plan to refuse, revoke or suspend a Retail Operator Licence, Retail Manager Licence, or revoke or suspend a retail store authorization. In the NOP, we’ll tell you our reasons.

If you want to fight the NOP, have 15 days to appeal to the LAT. For more information about requesting a hearing, visit the requesting a cannabis related hearing page.