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Ontario Expanding Alcohol Sales this Summer

Eligible grocery stores, convenience stores, and big box stores will be able to carry beer, cider, wine, and ready-to-drink alcoholic beverages.

ONTARIO - It's about to become a lot easier to buy booze in Ontario.

The Ford Government is expanding the sale of alcohol this summer by making beer, cider, wine and ready-to-drink alcoholic beverages available in grocery stores, big box stores, and convenience stores.

Minister of Finance Peter Bethlenfalvy says it's going to be a phased-in approach.

"Our responsible and balanced approach treats Ontario consumers like adults by giving them more choice and convenience, while also supporting Ontario retailers, domestic producers and workers in the alcohol industry. As we launch this new marketplace, we will continue to meet, consult and work closely with industry partners, local beverage alcohol producers and other stakeholders."

The changes start on August 1st. That's when the 450 grocery stores that are currently licenced to sell beer, cider, and wine will be able to start selling ready-to-drink beverages and large pack sizes.

Eligible convenience stores will be able to carry beer, wine, cider, ready-to-drink beverages, and large pack sizes after September 5th. That will be expanded to include all eligible grocery and big-box stores after October 31st.

The government has posted the general regulation, the licencing regulation, and the pricing regulation online, while The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) will be in charge of enforcing the rules and the consequences for breaking them. If a retailer has their application denied or their licence revoked, they won't be able to reapply for two years.

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