Ottawa’s first legal retail cannabis store, Superette, opens Monday at 1306 Wellington Street West.

Superette co-founders Mimi Lam and Drummond Munro want to make cannabis comfortable for everyone.

“We want to create something that hasn’t been done before.” said Munro. “It's a new industry. People are unsure; even if they've been to a black market dispensary, there's this feeling of doing something wrong. We want to create an environment where people feel good about being in this store.”

Licenced by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario, the shop, modeled inside and out like a corner store, will be open 7 days a week. Superette is one of three retail cannabis shops expected to open Monday in Ottawa and 25 across the province. It is unclear how many stores will be ready by the April 1 deadline. The store will offer a wide variety of cannabis products from dry flower, to pre-rolled joints, cannabis oils, capsules and accessories like water pipes, papers and vaporizers.

“We have an express checkout we also have a longer storefront where you can explore and there's an element of organic discovery for customers.” said Lam.  

Customers new to the cannabis experience will be able to sample scents from as many as 30 scent pods on display.  

“People can come in and actually see the bud before they buy it. That's a big difference than buying online.” said Trish Lackey, Superette’s head of culture and experience. “They'll be able to see for themselves the trichomes, the crystals, quality of the flower.”

Prices, they said, will be on par with what the Ontario Cannabis Store is selling online.

“A gram is going to run you anywhere from 6 dollars to about 15.” said Lackey.

Lackey who has served as a cannabis industry consultant said the legalization of cannabis will succeed in eliminating the black market if the quality of product is high and the prices remain competitive.

“The government is really making sure that they're putting out quality, healthy product for people, making sure it's not dusty, or moldy, or mildew. Really focused on making sure they're getting the best possible cannabis from a large-scale grower.”

Hobo Recreational Cannabis on Bank Street, and Fire and Flower on York Street in the ByWard Market plan to open Monday morning or face stiff penalties.