Article by Michael Lee, North Bay Nugget
A second cannabis store has been approved to open on Nipissing First Nation.
Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) spokesperson Ray Kahnert said Thursday that Cheerful Charlies Cannabis Co., located on Osprey Miikan, had been issued a pre-opening approval letter and passed its inspection.
Store management confirmed the store could open as early as today.
As it stands, cannabis retail stores are only allowed to offer curbside pickup or delivery.
Once open, Cheerful Charlies will join Kana Leaf, also on Nipissing First Nation, and Tokyo Smoke in North Bay as among the first retail cannabis stores to open in the area.
Owner Charlie Avery, who is related to the owners of Kana Leaf, said he hopes the store will serve as a “pleasant stop” for his customers.
“We want to make sure it’s a welcome atmosphere,” he said.
Manager Jason Fitzpatrick says it has been “a bit of a grind” trying to get set up, especially with COVID-19, but also “liberating” to have made it to where they are, especially with the industry being so new and only a few stores having opened locally.
“We don’t really have to follow a blueprint necessarily. We have some freedoms in being creative and we’re going to use those freedoms,” he said.
“We have to differentiate ourselves like any other business and that’s how we hope to do it with our staff, with our professional atmosphere, the fact that we’ve gone above and beyond on all of our displays … we’re proud of that for sure.”
With COVID-19, Avery and Fitzpatrick say they will have masks, gloves and cleaning materials available, along with plexiglass.
Nipissing First Nation, meanwhile, is expected to amend its Cannabis Law on Tuesday, lowering the age limit to purchase recreational cannabis to 19 from 21, and legalize the sale of edibles.