Article by Nathan Taylor, Orillia Matters
The first retail cannabis store in Orillia opened its doors Friday.
Happy Dayz, on Mississaga Street, has sold pipes and other accessories since opening more than a decade ago, but it is now selling cannabis products, too, including dried cannabis and edibles.
“It is really exciting to see the support of our neighbours, friends, family and the community,” said Fred Clough, who founded the business with Michael Switzer.
“It feels amazing to be able to bring this industry to Orillia,” Switzer added. “The fact that it is our hometown — there’s just nothing but pride. It’s exciting.”
Although Happy Dayz is the first retail cannabis shop to open in Orillia, four other companies have applied to the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) for licences. The AGCO website shows the applications from The Den Cannabis Store, Miss Jones, Sessions Cannabis, and ShinyBud Cannabis Co. as “in progress.”
Happy Dayz is confident it will be successful even if there are five shops in town, especially because it has a history in Orillia.
“We came from the legacy market,” said Kathryn Long, vice-president of marketing and communications with Friendly Stranger Holdings Corp., which owns the Happy Dayz chain. “People can still come for their accessories, but they can also get their cannabis now.”
It also helps that the owners and staff are “passionate and knowledgeable,” she said, adding they want to educate customers and clear up any confusion people might have about the products, such as THC and CBD content.