Article by Shawn Gibson, Barrie Today
Barrie residents’ access to cannabis has gotten easier as more companies look to open in the city, which has also become one of the delivery points for the Ontario Cannabis Store (OCS).
Star Buds Cannabis Co. will be the newest cannabis store in Barrie. They are getting ready to open at 181 Livingstone St. E., at the intersection of St. Vincent Street.
Chris Jones is the president of an Ontario-based company that’s rolling out Star Buds-branded cannabis retail stores.
Jones told BarrieToday he hopes to be open in the first or second week of June.
“Hopefully, all the final paperwork we need gets finished up and we can open sooner than later,” he said. “We have already started hiring employees, so the start of June is what we’re looking at.”
The city’s first cannabis shop, One Plant, opened Jan. 17 on Essa Road.
Star Buds also has plans to open a location south-end Barrie lcoation at 500 Huronia Rd., in addition to applications for Alliston and Bradford operations.
The Livingstone Street site is in a more residential area of the city compared to the Barrie’s first cannabis store, but Jones says there was little opposition from neighbours, a sign he believes that the industry is becoming more accepted.
“We had very few complaints, thankfully,” Jones said. “I’ve heard complaints in the past have to do with people upset that kids may be exposed to a store that sells cannabis, but those same kids are going past liquor stores at times.
“There is still some backward thinking, but we are definitely seeing improvement.”
Raymond Kahnert, a spokesperson for the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO), which regulates retail cannabis in the province, told BarrieToday there are seven applications in progress for the city, including the two Star Buds sites.