Article by Colleen Romaniuk, Sudbury Star
An Ontario-based cannabis retailer is hoping to set up shop in Elliot Lake in the next few months pending approval from the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO).
Sessions Cannabis, which already owns two pot shops in southern Ontario, has expressed its intention to open a cannabis retail store on Prince Edward Walk next to the LCBO outlet.
Steven Fry, president and co-founder of Sessions, said the company is working with a resident in Elliot Lake who has elected to remain anonymous for the time being.
“We are working with a long-standing member of the Elliot Lake community who has already submitted all necessary applications to the AGCO,” said Fry.
“Everything has been finalized on our end. As soon as we get the go-ahead from the ACGO, we will be ready. We’re starting to swing hammers, too, to get the location set up. We’re hoping to open in a couple months, probably this summer.”
The store owner has allegedly already received their Retail Operator License and is waiting to receive their Retail Store Authorization, a process that can take about five to six weeks.
“Elliot Lake is a great opportunity for us, and the municipality has been really supportive from the start. It’s an underlooked community that doesn’t have a store yet. We hope to be the only store in Elliot Lake,” said Fry.
Elliot Lake Mayor Dan Marchisella has been supportive of the cannabis industry in the city since council decided to opt into allowing cannabis retail stores in the area in 2018.
He stated that the industry could bring a number of benefits to the community, including controlled, legal retail and increased job and tax revenue.
The AGCO website has a table and an accompanying map showing the status of all cannabis retail store applications in Ontario. As of May 28, there is no Sessions Cannabis store application listed for the City of Elliot Lake.
However, Fry said they have been through the application process before, and they are just waiting for the AGCO to do its “due diligence.”
Sessions is listed on the website for a number of other store applications, including locations in Cambridge, Hamilton, Kitchener, Welland and Stoney Creek.
The company stated its intention to open up to 30 more stores across the province this year, and it has its eye on the market in Northern Ontario.
“While we’re expanding all across the province, we think that northern cities are a really great opportunity,” said Fry.
“I think folks in the north will appreciate having a physical store because right now, the only means of getting cannabis is through the mail and that’s a long, convoluted process. We are looking at opening locations in Timmins and Sudbury, as well.”
(Sudbury already has two pot stores).
Sessions Cannabis, headquartered in Binbrook, Ont., has two locations currently open in Toronto and Collingwood, where it opened the first store in the area in December 2019.
“We are the fastest and biggest growing brand in the province, and we’re all about winning the hearts and minds of consumers, providing an educational experience, and being socially responsible,” the company said.