Update: As of January 8 2020 we have already been contacted by the AGCO to get additional information which means my vigilance paid off!
We are excited to share that we FINALLY applied for our Retail Operator Licence! We have been working on the forms since mid-December so we were ready to apply right at midnight. I already had the forms in my "shopping cart" on the AGCO website ready to complete the transaction. I set 3 alarms so I would be ready to submit the second the clock struck 12. My first alarm at 11:50 PM went off while I was watching Real Housewives of Atlanta (they were in Toronto and just did the CN Tower Edgewalk). I went to grab my laptop. My second alarm at 11:58 PM went off. I logged onto the AGCO website. My last alarm at 11:59 went off. I refreshed the AGCO website and started to proceed through checkout. I didn't want to submit until 12:00 AM on the dot. I watched and finally the clock struck 12. It was officially January 6, 2020, and we could apply. Hands shaking and tears welling in my eyes, I entered our credit card info, paid $6000 (non-refundable whether we are approved or not) and then rolled a joint. After a year of uncertainty and letdowns, finally we would have our licence.
Well...not so fast! Licenses are being processed on a first come, first served basis. Calyx + Trichomes has a corporate business structure (the corporation is actually Calyx And Trichomes Ltd.). The business is it's own entity that will be evaluated and then each of the directors on the board (us personally) will be evaluated too. This is where we submit the business licence, corporate documents, tax papers (for the business and ourselves) and some other supporting documentation (like criminal records and even my grow licence). The AGCO will evaluate this whole package (along with the packages of countless others) in the order they are received. Sole proprietors and partnerships will likely have a quick review, whereas corporate structures (including more complicated multi-level corporate structures--where businesses own other businesses) will naturally take longer to review. Our corporate structure is uncomplicated but I submitted a LOT of extra documentation for review.
Best case scenario for this first step is that we are approved by the end of January. But that doesn't mean we will be able to sell cannabis right away. Because we are a corporate structure one of the directors is required to apply for a Retail Manager License (sole proprietors managing their own locations are not required to do this). The evaluation for the Retail Manager is basically the same as what was required for the director level evaluation which we already did--so it shouldn't take long to approve (and was already submitted last week).
To give previous lottery winners a chance to get up and running before the new wave of stores comes, we are not allowed to apply for our Retail Store Authorization until March 2, 2020. The Retail Store Authorization is where the reps from the AGCO come into our space and make sure it is built to spec. We are ready for inspection so this won't be a big hurdle for us. On March 1, I will set 3 more alarms and will apply again on March 2 at midnight. We have heard a rumour that stores that are ready will be processed first (so that's something) but the AGCO has not confirmed it with us. What they have confirmed is their goal is ONLY 20 stores a month. That's only a goal (so we can probably expect more like 10 a month). So best case scenario our name comes up quickly, and we can get inspected and enter our 15-day posting phase (where the community can submit comments to the Registrar at the AGCO about our location) which would bring us to late-March or early April. Then, once our posting phase is complete, and we are allowed to set up our account with the OCS and make an order. The orders will take a day or two to arrive and we will be able to sell cannabis at the end of March or early April.
tl;dr: We were one of the first to eagerly apply and if all goes well we will be selling weed by 4/20.