After originally opting of out allowing cannabis retailers in 2018, Pickering, Ont., now has its very first cannabis store.
Lolly is a family-owned shop that put in its application in January to be approved for a cannabis retail licence with the city. The store is currently open to the public, but its official grand opening takes place Saturday.
“It’s so exciting,” said co-founder and CEO Danielle Braemer.
“We started working on this last year to open our first doors in Caledonia and then when we got the opportunity to choose a location in Pickering and be in the Bay Ridges area.”
Dan Marazzato, president of Lolly, says the city has been supportive throughout the process.
“I think they’re going to be here for our grand opening,” he said.
“They brought us the ribbon, scissors, so they’ve been very supportive since they decided to opt in.”
City councillor Kevin Ashe says Pickering originally opted out so it could hold a public consultation process on the issue.
“A clear majority of people indicated their desire that Pickering should be an opt in community and we’re now about to see how that experiment will be working,” he said.
More cannabis retailers are expected to start popping up in Pickering, but the mayor of Oshawa says the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario is approving too many stores there. he says council has been advocating for there to be a restriction of one store per ward.
Mayor Dan Carter says council brought these recommendations to the attention of the AGCO.
“Our disappointment came that the province accepted that information but has not taken it into consideration as they’re awarding these new enterprises,” he said.