November 5, 2018 2:02 pm

Indiva plans to open cannabis storefront at London facility

Marijuana plants are shown at a cultivation facility in Olds, Alta., Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2018. As the arrival of legal cannabis looms, school boards across Ontario are grappling with how to discuss the drug with underage students barred from consuming it while ensuring rules and policies reflect the province's new legal and social reality.

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
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When the provincial government allows private retail outlets for cannabis to open next spring, there will be at least one in London.

READ MORE: Ontario cannabis retail rules present confusion for industry players

London’s first medical-cannabis producer Indiva announced on Monday that, pending approval, it will open a store at its London facility at 1050 Hargrieve Rd., in the area of Exeter and Wellington roads.

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“We’ve been told by the government that dispensary locations will be open, be permitted as of April of 2019 and unless there’s slippage on that date we expect to be open the first day we’re allowed to open,” said chief operating officer Koby Smutylo.

Smutylo also expressed anticipation at the expected relaxing of rules surrounding what kinds of cannabis products will be allowed to be sold.

“[We] can’t wait to be able to offer edible products and other products like that but of course we’ll wait until the government gives us the green light on that.”

READ MORE: Local grower approved for marijuana sales

It’s been a long and winding round for Indiva as the regulations in Ontario changed dramatically following the provincial election.

The previous Liberal government had planned to allow government-run stores but the Progressive Conservative government redrew the plans after taking office, saying private retail would be allowed but sales would only be available through a government-run website until a framework for private retail was in place come next spring.

While more information is expected in the coming weeks, the government has indicated that it would only allow licensed producers to have one retail location at a production facility.

READ MORE: Ontario ombudsman receives more than 1,000 complaints over cannabis store

“We’re not the sorts of folks that give up, or that run away from a challenge, or even take a break,” said Smutylo.

“We’re constantly evolving our business plan to respond to the challenges and opportunities that are presented day to day by this new industry.”

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