Article by Galen Simmons, Stratford Beacon Herald
It’s official. Stratford’s first recreational pot shop – Crossroads Cannabis – will open its doors to the public this Monday.
The first recreational pot shop to open within the geographical borders of Perth County, and among the first to open after the province expanded its licensing process to all would-be retailers last December, Crossroads Cannabis is the result of months of hard work by Exeter resident Bob Rowe and store manager Jason Clarke, a resident of St. Marys.
“I had a career (as an entrepreneur) in the energy business and I was retiring in January,” Rowe said. “My son Scott was involved with a national (cannabis) brand and he said to me last fall, ‘You should try to open a store. … Somebody’s got to open a store, so why don’t you try and get one?’
“So that’s what we did. We applied for a store.”
Though Rowe does not have much experience in the world of cannabis, he said Stratford seemed like the perfect place to open a store that could serve a rural market that, since cannabis was legalized more than a year and a half ago, has been completely left out of the province’s retail rollout.
“The town and investStratford have been very helpful in securing the space and working with us to put the store here, so it was a pretty easy decision to come to Stratford compared to other locations,” Rowe said. “And of course, in normal years you have the theatre crowd.
“There are a lot of stores going forward right now and a lot of them are going into major centres. … I chose not to do that. I chose a smaller community because I want to get to know our clientele and we want to be part of the community.”
To offset his own inexperience in the world of Cannabis, Rowe, with Clarke’s help, has hired a team of six full-time and five part-time cannabis guides, each of whom have the expertise to help Crossroads customers with anything they need – from dried flowers, pre-rolls, capsules, oils and edibles to any accessories they might need.