Ottawa gets its fourth cannabis store
Zach McGibbon, Newstalk 580 CFRA
Published Wednesday, August 21, 2019 11:22AM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, August 21, 2019 7:14PM EDT
Ottawa will be getting its fourth cannabis store and first in the suburbs.
The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario has released its results for its second lottery for brick-and-mortar cannabis stores with Barrhaven announced as winning a license.
The store will be located on 4335 Strandherd Dr. in a plaza neighbouring a Costco, several restaurants and shops.
The license is one of seven to be granted in the eastern region of Ontario. Ottawa's three other retail cannabis stores opened April 1, 2019; Fire & Flower on York St. in the ByWard Market, as well as Hobo on Bank St. and Superette along Wellington St. West. The latest proposed location would be the first Ottawa brick and mortar location outside the city's downtown core.
"I've never been to a shop. So I'll be interested to pop in, I don't know if I'll buy anything though," said Brittany St. Germain at the potential for a store opening in Barrhaven in October.
The winning application, submitted by Ethan Stark, will fill three empty units in the plaza. Neighbouring businesses expressed excitement when hearing of the news Wednesday afternoon.
Moe Mahfouz runs the Sleep Country mattress store and is hopeful more customers in the area will shop at his store as a result of the new tenants next door.
"Coming into Barrhaven, a nice family-oriented neighbourhood, I find is a big change. I think it will benefit well and maybe they'll get high and baked and come and buy one of our mattresses," said Mahfouz.
Dawn Curry-Pelletier, owner of Tutti Frutti Breakfast, said the area has struggled to attract business for the past year and a tenant in the vacant space should give the plaza a financial shot in the arm.
"It's good news," she said. "Someone's coming next door. I think it might bring in good business...this is great."
Some however, were surprised to learn of Barrhaven being a selected as a potential location for a retail store.
"I still find myself surprised hearing it because this is where I live because it didnt occur to me there would be one here," said Elisa Maybew. "I just assumed theyre all downtown."
Linda Rushton, who does not plan on visiting the store or being a customer, said the store coming to the suburbs is inevitable.
"Don't like the smell of it, don't like it being smoked around me, said Rushton. "But it has a place here and it has a place in Canada. It's law now."
"4,864 eligible expressions of interest were included in the lottery draw, which was overseen by a third-party fairness monitor. The AGCO has notified the following 42 selected applicants that they may now apply for a cannabis Retail Operator Licence and a Retail Store Authorization. Applicants have until August 28, 2019 to do so, at which point the AGCO will undertake its full eligibility and licensing review," according to a statement provided by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario.