What to Expect When Ottawa’s Legal Pot Shops Open on April 1

Article by Jacquie Miller, Ottawa Citizen

What to expect when Ottawa's legal pot shops open on April 1 JACQUIE MILLER Superette on Wellington Street West will be one of three stores to open in Ottawa. Jean Levac/Postmedia JEAN LEVAC / POSTMEDIA NEWS The Hobo Recreational Cannabis Store on Bank Street is in the same storefront as the old Cannabis Culture, an illegal dispensary. Julie Oliver/Postmedia JULIE OLIVER / POSTMEDIA An artist rendering of the Fire & Flower York Street Cannabis store. This former barbecue joint on York Street is being converted into Fire & Flower York Street Cannabis. Julie Oliver/Postmedia JULIE OLIVER / POSTMEDIA

Nearly six months after Canada legalized pot, people in Ottawa will be able to walk into three stores on Monday and buy some.

The shops in the ByWard Market, Centretown and Wellington West Village are among only a handful that will open across the province.

The province had wanted 25 cannabis stores to open by April 1, but many won’t be ready on time.

Ontario residents have been able to buy online at the Ontario Cannabis Store since Canada legalized recreational marijuana on Oct. 17. But bricks-and-mortar shops will bring the still-novel experience of legally purchasing weed to another level.

Expect lineups.

The proprietors of Superette on Wellington Street West have promised a staffer will monitor whether customers are blocking the entrances of neighbouring businesses or parking illegally on adjoining streets.

At Fire & Flower York Street Cannabis in the ByWard Market, plans are afoot to entertain people waiting for the doors to open Monday morning with games and prizes. They expect a flood of customers from nearby Gatineau, because there are no bricks-and-mortar stores there yet.

A spokesman for Hobo Recreational Cannabis Store on Bank Street near Gladstone Avenue says they hope to attract 1,000 people a day. That’s about the same number of customers who patronized the illegal dispensary that was the last tenant.

All three stores are designed with a key goal in mind: making people feel comfortable shopping for a substance that still carries a lot of stigma.

Read the full article here.

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