The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario has released the names of 25 winners of a lottery held to determine who may apply for the province's first cannabis retail licences.

The winners, selected from 17,000 applicants, were drawn Friday afternoon and released that evening.

They largely consist of entrepreneurs, not corporations.

The seven winners from the province's west region, which includes Waterloo Region, are as follows:

  • Steven Fry
  • Lisa A Bigioni
  • Ranjit basra
  • 2674253 Ontario Inc.
  • Santino J Coppolino
  • Christopher Comrie
  • The Niagara Herbalist

The winners will now have five business days to submit formal applications with a $50,000 letter of credit and a $6,000 non-refundable fee.

Ontario's first private cannabis stores are expected to open April 1.

Until then, recreational cannabis can only be legally sold through the province's government-operated website.