The future location of Guelph’s weed retail store has been announced, sharing the same Stone Road address as a Domino’s Pizza, Tim Hortons and Dairy Queen.
The proximity to munchies may not have been on the list of criteria the province had when considering a location for the bud store, but its proximity to local elementary and secondary schools was.
The LCBO set up its Cannabis Updates web site to keep the public informed throughout the process of the legalization of retail sale of marijuana in Ontario.
On Wednesday, an update on the web site said the Guelph location for the Ontario Cannabis Store (OCS) will be at 304 Stone Road West, directly across the street from the Stone Road Mall.
The former Dulux Paint store stands in the parking lot of the plaza, but formerly had the street address of 114 Stone Road.
It is currently unclear if the OCS location will be in the former Dulux Paint store or a vacant unit in the plaza directly behind it, but when reached by phone Wednesday, Mayor Cam Guthrie said he believes the store will be located in the former paint store.
Because legislation surrounding legalized cannabis has not yet been finalized, no date has been set for the opening of the store.
Guthrie said the location makes sense to him.
“It’s on a commercial strip, it’s somewhat in the geographical centre of the city, it’s not close to primary schools, downtown or parks. I think it seems to be in a good location,” said Guthrie.
The choice for OCS locations must abide by provincial guideline and adhere to municipal zoning by-laws. They can not be located in close proximity to elementary and secondary schools, for example.
Guthrie said a working group was struck to strategically identify potential locations when the city was made aware it was to be the location of a future OCS location.
That working group included city staff, members of the Guelph Police and public health, among others.
“The best spot that came to light — no pun intended — was the spot that has been announced today,” said Guthrie.
The provincial government says OCS retailers ‘will operate with the same care and expertise Ontarians have come to expect of the LCBO’s long-standing and reputable history of responsible retailing practices and promoting moderate consumption’.
No one under the age of 19 will be permitted to enter the main retail store and no product will be visible in the lobby.
Guthrie said any deterrents from marijuana getting into the wrong hands is welcome, though he still has concerns about the enforcement side of legalizing weed.
“As we get closer to the grand opening to these stores province wide, I am hoping these issues will be figured out,” he said.