Article by Nicole Kleinsteuber, in Quinte
Quinte’s first licensed retail cannabis dispensary is now open for business.
Island Smoke on 220 Dundas Street East in Trenton opened its doors on Monday morning becoming the first licensed cannabis outlet between Kingston and Oshawa to open following COVID-19-related delays.
Dispensary owner Mark Phillips said the official opening went well on Monday.
“We were not overwhelmed but steady all day,” he said. “I think it will be a success. This is something that there is definitely a need for in this area. It’s a licensed product. It’s something that the government supplies. I’m pretty excited to be the first person to open a store in the area.”
Phillips started the process of obtaining a license year and a half ago, and like many things cancelled, shutdown or delayed due to COVID – licencing for the rapidly expanding cannabis trade followed suit.
COVID has slowed everything down he said.
“I can’t foresee anybody getting a licence now,” he continued. “It will be a year and a half to two years to get a Licence now. The whole system has slowed down in a big way with COVID. “
According to the website www.dispensariesnearme.ca there are nearly 700 medical and recreational cannabis dispensaries in Ontario, although the openings of many of those retail shops has been delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Three other legal cannabis outlets are set to open soon, including Yield Cannabis on North Front Street in Belleville and two on Picton Main Street.
Right now, Phillips said they are fortunate, and they have a really beautiful facility.
“Somehow I got lucky,” he offered. “I don’t know why because there are a lot of guys that put their applications in the same time as me and some of them are told they won’t have a Licence for another year.”
When that happens, Phillips said he welcomes the competition.
Right now, Phillips focus is on expanding his product line.