Article by Doug Diaczuk, TB News Watch
The city could see three retail cannabis locations open by as early as this spring after a third location recently received a license to sell recreational cannabis.
The Toke House in Westfort received its retail operator’s license from the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario this week and plans to open sometime in April.
“We’ve been anxiously waiting for a license here to dispense cannabis and we just got it, so we are really excited for that,” said Steve Kis, who owns the Toke House with his father Ray.
This will be the third location in the city to receive a retail operator’s license after the province opened the application process to the public.
Tokyo Smoke, having been successful in the province’s previous lottery system last summer, opened its doors on Monday and Kia Ora on Victoria Avenue received its retail operator’s license in late February.
Kis said he applied to both lotteries and again for the license as soon as it opened on Jan. 1. The Toke House, located in Mt. McKay Place on James Street, has been open for the past two and a half years selling cannabis accessories.
“We didn’t get in the game to sell cannabis,” he said. “It was just an add-on to our existing model. When they went to the free market, we applied.”
Before they can start to sell recreational cannabis, the store needs pass an inspection by the province.
“So we have this existing store where we will be doing accessories in and cannabis will be sold in a completely separate location, which is the unit next to us,” Kis said. “So we have to get that location approved.”
The separate location is undergoing renovations and Kis said he hopes to have everything complete before the beginning of April when the inspections will start to take place.
“Once that hits, they will do 20 stores per month based on store readiness,” he said. “So you have to hit all their checklists and then book an inspection.”