Liquor and Cannabis in Cobourg

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
    • Corfu
    • Cucina Urbana
    • George & Orange
    • Homeplate
    • Mill Restaurant
    • Oasis

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)


Mary Js Opening - Owners
Mary Js Opening – Owners

As of 18 December, there are three stores in Cobourg with permission to open:

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:

  1. Protecting public health and safety.
  2. Protecting youth and restricting their access to cannabis.
  3. 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:

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:

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.

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Janice M.
17 January 2022 3:17 pm

New Cannabis store in Cobourg

How many more Cannabis stores is the town council going to approve? “The feel good town” has a new meaning!

23 December 2021 8:28 am

A short while ago, I saw a Northumberland County tourism/agriculture promotion brochure which featured 4 sectors, including a beverage sector. Was not able to locate it on line this morning. The brochure had a map with various product makers identified. Items included among other things beer, black currant (cassis) style products and crabapple wine. Northumberland County is well placed with regard to the popular PEC destinations. And a note on alcoholic beverages, if treated with respect in a family as children are growing up I believe there is a much better chance of a learned appreciation of quality products rather than as a go-to to deaden pain, emotional or physical.

22 December 2021 10:42 am

Very interesting about all the restos with a BYO endorsement on their licences. Does this mean that you can show up with your own (bought) bottle and demand to be allowed to drink it? Or does the resto have to advertise that they permit it? My understanding was that most restos relied on the markup on their alcohol to stay in business.

Ken Strauss
Reply to  GailR
22 December 2021 12:49 pm

Cucina Urbana used to advertise one night a week as BYOB. I’ve never seen an advert from any of the others.

Reply to  GailR
24 December 2021 11:32 am

Restaurants make money from the wine by charging a “Corkage” Fee. Nothing else but “Corkage” is not cheap.

Reply to  sam
25 December 2021 5:03 pm

It may not be cheap – I think in Toronto it used to be 25 or 30 dollars. But then you could take along a really expensive bottle of wine. That is when BYOB is worth it.

Philip Brent
22 December 2021 10:03 am

Going by the Toronto experience; there is a failing cannabis store every hundred yards, Cobourg and region stores will have a difficult time and only deep pockets will survive.

22 December 2021 9:26 am

Also don’t forget the two fantastic craft breweries in Cobourg: William Street Beer Co and Northumberland Hills Brewery! Both make and sell some great beers by the can, bottle, 1.8L Growler or various keg sizes!

Port Hope has a new brewery and there’s a cider place in Baltimore.

Taps and Corks on King in downtown Cobourg also sells craft beer by the can/bottle to go!

We are pretty lucky to have so many great options!

Last edited 11 months ago by Middle-Aged-White-Guy
Reply to  Middle-Aged-White-Guy
22 December 2021 10:12 am

Are you just being facetious with your comments or truly mean what you wrote. Cobourg will soon be just a town known for its drunks and pot smoking residents. The Council needs to get a handle on what stores they allow to open. Not too many years ago if you were caught smoking MJ you were hauled off to jail. Now booze at grocery stores and a dispensary at every corner. How shameful !!!

Wally Keeler
Reply to  Tucker
22 December 2021 10:40 am

Your comment reminds me of an article that had been published in the Cobourg Sentinel Star when a reporter did a person-in-the-street survey. WHAT YOU SHOULD DO ABOUT POT, Cobourg Sentinel-Star, January 4, 1968 The Sentinel-Star asked the question: “What should society do about pot?” Mrs Viola Cooke, stated, “I wouldn’t know what to do. It is a terrible thing and something should be done.” Mrs Ken Beardsley, “I don’t know the answer. It is terrible and the young people will be sorry for the harm they do to themselves and to others. I don’t know what the answer is.” Mrs Robert Davis, “It should be illegal and abolished.” Ray Gallagher, “By publishing stories on it, people become aware of it. It should definitely be abolished.” Mrs J. Downs, “We should stop it by all means. It’s terrible, but what can we do about it? It has a good start here in our own little town and in the schools. I don’t know what should be done but I would like to do lots.” Bob Young, “It’s very bad. It has been abolished by law.” Mrs L. S. Usher, “I don’t know what the answer is but I’m just disgusted with it. It is dreadful when people are sick and dying and then someone who doesn’t need it deliberately takes it. It is a dreadful sin but how can we control it. I wish I had a thought on that.” “Smart young people should have better brains. I don’t understand what prompts it. I don’t think they have enough to do. They are bored to death. If they would get interested in outdoor sports they would be different people.” “When we were young we had to work harder for less but we were no worse off. Our money bought three… Read more »

Last edited 11 months ago by Wally Keeler
Reply to  Wally Keeler
22 December 2021 11:16 am

Why don’t you find all these wonderful people and put them on Council, see what happens then.

Reply to  Wally Keeler
22 December 2021 12:29 pm

The devils lettuce.😉

Reply to  Wally Keeler
22 December 2021 6:06 pm

I find it hilarious that, as recently as 1968, so many women seemed not to even have had a name of their own; they were just Mrs. Fred Doofus etc.

Last edited 11 months ago by JimT
Reply to  Tucker
22 December 2021 10:52 am

Sir, I am being absolutely genuine! Choice is fantastic, especially if when you are able to support locally owned businesses!

By your reasoning, council should also prevent restaurants from opening, because people will eat there and become obese. Then Cobourg will be known as an obese town!

You know what else there is too much of in this town, Tim Hortons, council should shut those down, because we don’t want to be known as the overly caffeinated town either!

Reply to  Middle-Aged-White-Guy
22 December 2021 11:02 am

So your point is?

Reply to  Middle-Aged-White-Guy
22 December 2021 11:13 am

Never yet seen a police report of an accident being caused by an overly obese person or one “high” on coffee. Check Northumberland News this morning, another drunk twenty something, arrested for drunk driving and drug possession etc. but only to be released to do it again because it’s all so easily accessible.

Reply to  Tucker
22 December 2021 11:34 am

That’s not what you were arguing in your first comment. You were more concerned about the reputation of the town:

Cobourg will soon be just a town known for its drunks and pot smoking residents.”

There has always been drug or alcohol abuse in some form of another. It’s not a function of availability. Most people can buy/consume alcohol and cannabis very responsibly.

The fact that a drunk driver being released is not something that can be blamed on town council. That blame squarely lies in the Provincial Justice System. The fact that people who have mental health issues have to turn to alcohol and drugs is a failure of the Provincial Health System, not Town Council.

Reply to  Tucker
22 December 2021 1:59 pm

Tucker you’re clouding issues – Alcohol use and alcohol abuse. Crime and punishment.

While you may never hear about an “accident caused by a overly obese person”, you certainly can’t miss them in emergency departments, general hospital departments, diabetes clinics, COPD information sessions and currently on ventilators for covid near you; all of which causing great stress on resources. Poor health and obesity is killing far more people than common sense cannabis or alcohol use.

Reply to  Tucker
22 December 2021 12:27 pm

Your comments and lack of understanding are shameful.

Reply to  Middle-Aged-White-Guy
22 December 2021 12:28 pm

Thanks for the info. I will be sure to visit.

Jana Crawford
Reply to  Middle-Aged-White-Guy
23 December 2021 12:09 am

And a Cidery – Rice Lake Hard Cider in Baltimore

Bill Thompson
22 December 2021 8:53 am

Sequel to “Up in Smoke” being filmed in Cobourg anytime soon ? 🤪

Last edited 11 months ago by Bill Thompson
Wally Keeler
Reply to  Bill Thompson
22 December 2021 9:47 am

Yes, think Alderville, Smoke Signals, well worth a watch. Vudu – Smoke Signals

Beach walker
22 December 2021 8:41 am

Walmart also sells beer and cider.