Article by Taylor Campbell, Windsor Star
Opening day of Windsor’s first legal retail cannabis store is a month behind schedule due in part to a class-action lawsuit against the provincial body regulating vendor licences that put a wrench in plans provincewide.
London restaurateur Kirk Anastasiadis, one of 42 applicants selected in the most recent Ontario lottery in August, said by phone Thursday he expects to open shop on Ouellette Avenue by Dec. 1 instead of the Nov. 1 goal he’d originally set. The now rejected court challenge against the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) put forth by 11 disqualified lottery winners paused the licensing process for two weeks, he said.
“You couldn’t really move forward with some inspections and things like that,” Anastasiadis said. Now that the judicial holdup about whether or not the candidates who were late submitting documents to the AGCO should have been disqualified is over, “everything is moving swiftly and that’s why we’re working around the clock and on the weekends to get this set and ready.”
Now, he’s working to finish renovations inside the former Meridian Credit Union at 545 Ouellette Ave. for what will be called Rose City Cannabis. The space’s bank history means he’s already got the vault required for product storage in place.
Updates to the roughly 7,000-square-foot unit’s flooring are still underway, and the installation of specialty display cabinets is pending, he said.
“It’s a very simple, clean look,” he said. “It’s got a very relaxed vibe.”
The shop will undergo a necessary public notice period until Nov. 8, after which the AGCO will make its final decision to give Anastasiadis the go-ahead to open.
“I think it will draw people to the downtown core,” said Brian Yeomans, chair of the Downtown Windsor Business Improvement Association.