The president of the Ottawa Real Estate Board says his business has been devastated by an illegal pot shop that moved into the same strip mall in Blackburn Hamlet.
Shane Silva moved out of his HomeLife Capital Realty office on Innes Road on Oct. 29, a few days after the Capital Essence marijuana dispensary opened two doors down.
He says he had little choice: Five agents at his office left and he was worried that customers would balk at visiting a mall where “shady things are going on.”
“When someone’s coming in to purchase probably the biggest thing they’ll ever purchase in their life, the last thing they want to do is smell pot coming from next door.”
Silva is now operating his realty business out of the basement of his home and trying to figure out what to do next. He and the landlord are in a dispute over his lease, with both sides saying they have suffered damages. The dispensary, meanwhile, has been closed since last Friday, the day police conducted drug raids on half a dozen pot shops across the city.
It’s the latest twist as Ottawa residents, politicians, police, businesses and landlords react to the arrival of marijuana dispensaries in the city.