Hamilton’s Olivia Brown is vying to open one of Ontario’s first legal cannabis stores — one of countless entrepreneurs clamouring to get their applications ready after the government announced a lottery for the first 25 pot shops.

“I’m trying to show Hamilton that cannabis is the new steel industry,” says Brown, who owns Professional Cannabis Consulting with an office in the Cotton Factory on Sherman Avenue North.

On Wednesday, the Ontario government released its long-anticipated rules to submit applications for the chance to own one of the first 25 legal bricks-and-mortar pot shops among five regions.

Brown was not happy to learn it’s a lottery — she’d rather see the best applications picked by merit — but is “absolutely” applying.

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