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Cannabis Professional’s daily roundup of industry news. View archive here.

A quiet start to the day for corporate cannabis news. An Ontario court late yesterday rejected an attempt by 11 losers of the recent retail lottery to freeze the current round of licensing; and Virginia’s attorney general (and likely future gubernatorial candidate) has voiced his support for recreational legalization in the southern state.

– Rob Gilroy

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Court rejects second attempt to freeze Ontario cannabis lottery process

The 42 winners of Ontario’s cannabis retail lottery – including those bumped up the list – will be allowed to proceed through the licensing process after an Ontario Court of Appeal judge on Wednesday rejected a second request to freeze the proceedings.

The entire lottery process came to a halt in mid-September, when 11 lottery winners who had been disqualified for not submitting a $50,000 letter of credit by the deadline, successfully asked a judge to stay the proceedings. The request was granted in order to give the group time to challenge the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario’s disqualification decision.

A judicial review hearing was held last Wednesday, and on Friday a panel of three judges ruled in favour of the AGCO and against the disqualified parties. The stay on the lottery proceedings was lifted.

On Monday, the disqualified group asked the Ontario Court of Appeal for a second stay in order to appeal the divisional court’s judicial review decision. Justice Ian Nordheimer rejected this request on Wednesday.

Justice Nordheimer noted in his reasons for decision that no “irreparable harm” would be done to the 11 disqualified parties if a stay was not granted. They still have the ability to seek licences in the future, and they are still allowed to sue the AGCO for damages, Justice Nordheimer noted. Furthermore, they can still try to appeal the ACGO decision, even without a stay.

– Mark Rendell

Virgina’s AG supports legalizations

Virgina Attorney General Mark Herring tweeted his support for the legalization of recreational marijuana in the state on Tuesday night. “Virginians know we can do better. It’s time to move toward legal, regulated adult use,” Herring said in his retweet of a study that revealed more than half of Virginians agree with him. The study, published by the University of Mary Washington last month, showed that 61 per cent of Virginians support legalization of recreational marijuana, while 34 per cent oppose legalization. The remaining respondents said they were uncertain.

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Recreational use of marijuana is becoming an increasingly popular issue for Virginia politicians as they go into the November State Senate elections and the upcoming 2021 gubernatorial elections. Stephen Farnsworth, a UMW political science professor, said he believes legalization is several years away, but the timeline could change if a Democratic majority is elected in November. Eighty percent of the Commonwealth’s youth (25 and under) are in favour of recreational marijuana, Farnsworth said. “Winning the support of younger voters can be key.” Herring, a candidate in the 2021 gubernatorial elections, has long voiced his support for decriminalization of marijuana.

- Associated Press

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