Article by Dave Dentinger, Blackburn News
Applications are pending for what would be Sarnia-Lambton’s first two provincially approved and regulated pot stores.
The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) website shows applications in progress in Sarnia and Grand Bend.
Natures Buds is looking to set up shop in vacant space at 1362 Lambton Mall Road, Unit 20, while the Bend Cannabis Co. has submitted an application for a cannabis retail store at 19 Main Street, Grand Bend.
A notice attached to the door of the proposed Natures Buds shop says the public can comment on the application until May 29. The public notice period ends for the Grand Bend application May 20.
The Doug Ford government announced late last year that it was abandoning its previous lottery system and moving to an open market for retail cannabis stores beginning in January 2020. A temporary cap on the number of private cannabis stores in the province was removed.
Sarnia Mayor Mike Bradley said the first round of the lottery was a disaster.
“They weren’t making the business case where they were locating, they were simply choosing at whim,” said Bradley. “The whole point of legalization by the Trudeau government was to diminish illegal operations. By not having a shop, it put us in a very awkward situation. Now by having a shop allegedly coming, I think there’s an opportunity now to help diminish the illegal market.”
Mayor Bradley said he thinks the proposed location of the store is a good fit for the area.