Toronto Community Reactions to Legal Cannabis Storefronts

Article by Amanda Da Silva, Felisha Henry-Lee and Monique Thompson, Toronto Observer

TORONTO • News Community reactions to legal cannabis storefronts From downtown Toronto to Scarborough, there is a divide between legal cannabis storefronts and "backyard dealers" Business has been booming for the Friendly Stranger Cannabis Culture Shop on Queen Street West since the Hunny Pot opened across the street on April 1, 2019 (MONIQUE THOMPSON/TORONTO OBSERVER) Christine Sommerville smokes for recreation and has been working at the Friendly Stranger for almost year. (MONIQUE THOMPSON/TORONTO OBSERVER)

Business has been booming at the Friendly Stranger Cannabis Culture Shop since the Hunny Pot opened across the street on Queen Street West.

With lines wrapping around the corner, the Friendly Stranger has been making friends with customers in the neighbour’s lineup.

“With the Hunny Pot, Day Two, it has definitely been busier,” said Christine Somerville, a supervisor at the Friendly Stranger. “It is exciting for all of us.”

Somerville said on April 1, when the Hunny Pot cannabis storefront opened, they have been handing out 15 per cent coupons to the customers in the line.

The Friendly Stranger has been open for 25 years and is owned by James Jesty.

At the Friendly Stranger they sell: papers and flavoured papers, lighters, torches, dab rigs, many bongs, vaporizers (tabletop and handheld), pipes (wood, glass, metal, stone, crystal), rolling trays, storage containers, humidors, cookbooks for edibles and books of how to make your own edibles. They have merchandise like bags and T-shirts.

In North York, where there is no legal cannabis store, the lack of a government-approved outlet isn’t bothering some people who already rely on the black market for their cannabis products, or on dealers.

“I think it wouldn’t make a huge difference having one,” said Kushiah Henry-Daniels, 18.  “I’m someone that’s in and around the community and you could honestly find a plug [dealer] on every main intersection.”

According to the high school student, there are advantages to the illegal market.

Read the full article here.

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