One of London’s first pot shops, Central Cannabis, is expecting line-ups during its inaugural day in business.
Owned by Chris Comrie and run by consulting company Corner Cannabis, the shop at 666 Wonderland Rd. North is one of three in London to secure permission to open through a provincial lottery in January and appears to be the only one ready for customers on Monday.
There’s been a “Coming April 1, 2019” sign on the business plaza’s boulevard at the corner of Wonderland and Oxford Street for weeks now.
J London at 691 Richmond Street, owned by Ranjit Basra, has been issued a retail operator licence and retail store authorization, according to the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) website. Tweed, a numbered company at 1025 Wellington Rd. is still waiting on those authorizations, but its public notice period has come to an end.
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Jon Conquergood, the CEO of Corner Cannabis, says customers can expect a clean, welcoming, contemporary environment at Central Cannabis.
“We will have laid out, for people to see and smell various strains of cannabis,” he said.
“We will have on staff some very knowledgeable, experienced staff members who can help them go through and decide what kind of cannabis is best for them.”
In an effort to make “everybody and anybody” feel welcome at the store, Conquergood says they’ve hired 45 employees from various age groups. Those staff will be able to accommodate people who are new and curious about marijuana, as well as those who are familiar users.
“We want to make sure we’re becoming an integral part of the community that’s around us. We’re not a dirty head shop. We’re a welcoming, clean environment that people can come in and learn about cannabis, and recognize that it no longer has the stigma associated with it,” he said.
“Society will be changing over time to be more accepting of this product.”
The provincial government initially said there would be no cap on the number of retail shops, but announced in December that just 25 stores could apply to open on April 1.
Some of those stores are still navigating lengthy approval processes.