Long lineups, marijuana smoke from Quebec pot stores hamper neighbouring businesses

Stores near the SQDC in downtown Montreal have their entrances blocked by long lineups to access the government;s marijuana-run stores. Friday November 2, 2018.

The long lineups outside of the Société québécoise du cannabis stores (SQDC) have become a problem for neighbouring businesses.

Tutti Va Bene, a store at the corner of Mansfield and Ste-Catherine streets, has even resorted to installing stanchions to create a path to their doorway.

Allan Landry, a salesman at the store, says that having their entrance blocked is affecting their bottom line.

“That means we have less customers because people don’t know if we are open or not,” Landry told Global News.

“In the summertime, or before the SQDC opened, we always let the door open showing the customers that we’re open and ready to serve them. Right now they don’t see the door or what we have in the store so they hesitate coming inside.”

READ MORE: Police checkpoints, long lines mark Day 2 of legalization in Montreal

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Another issue is the smoke and smell of marijuana.

Landry said that because there are so many people smoking marijuana in the lineup, their merchandise is absorbing the smell.

It’s gotten to the point where the store will be moving to a new location earlier than expected.

WATCH: Montrealers line up on the first day of legal marijuana sales

Click to play video: 'Huge lineup at Montreal store as pot makes legal debut' Huge lineup at Montreal store as pot makes legal debut
Huge lineup at Montreal store as pot makes legal debut – Oct 17, 2018

Mathieu Gaudreault, a spokesperson for the SQDC, says they have received several complaints from businesses and that they are trying to mitigate the issues whenever they are made aware of them.

Gaudreault told Global News they have added extra security guards to control lineups but they are hoping that as time goes by, there will be fewer people lining up.

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The SQDC’s operating hours have been slashed by nearly until a stable supply of marijuana products is available.  Branches across the province are closed on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday as of this week.

READ MORE: Quebec slashes cannabis store hours due to shortages

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