Welland’s first legal cannabis dispensary served about 100 customers on its first day of business.
In April 2019 Sessions Cannabis opened the first store of its kind in Hamilton and since then has established another in that city, as well as locations in Toronto, Collingwood and Cambridge.
Stores in Orillia, Oshawa, North York and Windsor have opened recently, and close to another 30 locations under the company’s umbrella are awaiting approval from the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario to start serving.
Welland’s store, in Fitch Street Plaza next to a soon-to-relocate LCBO store, opened Tuesday.
Co-founder and president Steven Fry said his company’s stores are unique in the sense they allow customers to look at what they are about to purchase, keeping products in glass cases on the floor of the main area.
But due to the provincewide lockdown, they can’t show this feature off in Welland yet.
“Consumers can’t take advantage of the really enriched experience that we offer,” said Fry on Wednesday.
Orders can be made through phone or online and picked up at the store.
Sessions will deliver anywhere in Welland, free of charge, within 90 minutes of an order being placed.
“It’s a great opportunity for people who want to stay in and don’t want to go out,” said Fry, adding that free home deliveries won’t be made once the region is out of lockdown.
About 12 people have been hired locally, said Fry, adding that more positions will open up once government restrictions are eased.
Since last March, when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, many businesses were negatively impacted.
It doesn’t appear the cannabis industry has suffered too much, as Canadians and Ontarians have been increasingly using cannabis, he said.
“I think the same thing will be applicable in Welland for sure.”
It appears people could be “using cannabis more than they typically were,” said Fry.