Article by Jacquie Miller, Ottawa Sun
When Arash Zadeh heard a marijuana dispensary on Hunt Club Road had temporarily closed after an armed robbery, he saw an opportunity.
He asked his real estate agent to find out whether the landlord was interested in renting the space to him and his business partner Hadi Shureih. “I called (the agent) and said, ‘I’m sure the community is not very impressed with this (shop), so can we get in?”
The answer was yes, and soon the green walls of the Capital City Cannabis Clinic will be painted and the space transformed into a shop selling cell phone plans and equipment. The Koodo store should be open in March, when renovations are complete, say the partners.
Capital City is one of several dispensaries that have closed on their own rather than because of police raids. The Capital Essence shop in Blackburn Hamlet, which was opposed by some neighbours, has also closed after landlord Peang Taing asked its operators to leave, letting them free from a three-year lease. He said he had no idea his tenant would be selling marijuana.
But in what Ottawa Coun. Mathieu Fleury calls the “cat-and-mouse game” between Ottawa police and the growing number of illegal pot shops, the balance changes almost daily.