It seems that many people do not understand the rules about alcoholic beverages and Cannabis and how they affect Cobourg. The two are grouped because the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario manages both (as well as gambling). Their web site has a lot of information but it requires work to sort it all out so in this festive season, let me summarize what people might like to know. If you are a vendor, or want a special occasion permit, then you should visit the site. I’ll cover bringing your own wine, buying wine at a Grocery store, what Cannabis stores are allowed to open or planned, the rules for commenting, where you can make your own wine and more.
- Did you know that many restaurants in Cobourg (but not all) are licensed to permit you to bring your own wine? Here is a list of Cobourg establishments with a “Bring-Your-Own Wine Endorsement” on their “Liquor Sales Licence”:
- Ale House
- Buttermilk Café
- Cobourg Yacht Club
- Cucina Urbana
- George & Orange
- Mill Restaurant
That means at these restaurants, they have legal permission to allow you to bring and drink your own wine. I don’t know if anybody actually does this – I confess I have never noticed it but then I don’t stare at other diners! This is only for commercially made wine and not home made. Some places may charge “corkage”.
- And did you know that if you buy wine by the bottle at a restaurant but don’t finish it, you can take it home with you (does not apply to wine you brought yourself). That applies to all places with a liquor licence.
- If you want good but cheaper wine – you can go to a store with a “ferment on Premises” licence. There are two of these in Cobourg:
- Cobourg Wine Cellar – Division St. opposite No-Frills
- Bitters and Grapes (also Beer) – no web site or Facebook page – 1 Strathy Road.
- As well as the two liquor stores, you can also buy Wine at Cobourg’s Metro (also licenced for Beer).
- Unless you are a night owl, you perhaps did not know that the permitted opening hours for licensed establishments (except when there are Covid-19 restrictions) are: Monday to Sunday 9:00 am to 2:00 am (except for December 31 when they are 9:00 am to 3:00 am)
As of 18 December, there are three stores in Cobourg with permission to open:
- The Peace Pipe – 1 King St. East
- Mary J’s Cannabis – 38 King St. West – this store was the first to open (see post here) Photo at right is of owners Dashy Singh, Jass Dhaliwal and Harman Litt.
- Circa 1818 – 8 Strathy Rd Unit 3
And there are 2 more waiting approval. Their status is “In progress”:
- Inspired Cannabis Co. – 1111 Elgin (in Starbucks plaza) – Public notice dates June 16 to June 30 2021 – it’s too late to make a comment on their application.
- Your Local Cannabis – 2 King St East – Public notice dates Aug 13 to August 27 2020 – it’s too late to make a comment on their application.
In Port Hope, there 4 stores with permission to open, 1 “in Progress” and 1 currently with Status “Public Notice”.
Each company wanting to open a store must have identified their premise and gone through a 2 week public notice stage. During this period, residents and municipalities may make “written submissions about an application”. A visible notice is to be posted on the premises during the 2 week period which include instructions on how to make a submission. The online instructions are not clear (eventually I found the link – see below) so I would think many people would phone: 1-800-522-2876 or 416-326-8700. You can object on only 3 grounds:
- Protecting public health and safety.
- Protecting youth and restricting their access to cannabis.
- Preventing illicit activities in relation to cannabis.
Once you find the application with Status “Public Notice”, you get a link to an online form where you can state your objection. Anonymous objections are not allowed. It’s not known if anyone in Cobourg (resident or Town) objected to any of the applications.
There is no indication of how long any of the steps take.
If you want to try to get more information, try these links:
- Map showing the locations of all applications – approved or not
- Search for Applications currently undergoing Public Notice – you can get useful results by simply entering Cobourg in the address box.
- Search for Authorizations – similarly, you can get useful results by simply entering Cobourg in the address box.
It’s not known how successful these stores are – business-wise – nor if Cobourg can support 5 stores as well as the Alderville Cannabis stores – and Port Hope is not that far. I guess we’ll see.
You may remember the debate early 2019 about opting-in to allow Cannabis stores in Cobourg – Council approved the idea 4-3.
Here are a couple of Posts on the subject:
- Cobourg to opt-in to Cannabis retail Stores – 7 January 2019
- Update on Cannabis Opt-in Decision – 14 January 2019
No doubt some readers will know much of the above but based on many comments I’ve heard about permits for selling alcohol and Cannabis, a good portion of the above will be news to many.