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New cannabis retail application in south end may be first to the finish line

A Spiritleaf franchise is proposed for the Edinburgh Market Place plaza
20200311 Edinburgh Market Place KA
The Edinburgh Market Place plaza will soon be home to cannabis retailer Spiritleaf if an application to the province is approved. Kenneth Armstrong/GuelphToday

A retail cannabis store proposed for a plaza at Edinburgh Road/Stone Road is currently in the public notice phase, making it further ahead in the process than any other of Guelph's applications.

Spiritleaf Guelph is proposed for the Edinburgh Market Place at 492 Edinburgh Rd. S., among 24 Retail Store Authorizations being pursued in Ontario by Calgary-based Inner Spirit Holdings.

The plaza currently supports a Metro grocery store and Mark's Work Warehouse store, among others.

The Spiritleaf Guelph store will be operated as a franchise, said the company in a press release.

The company web site says it has granted over 100 Spiritleaf franchises across Canada in provinces that are open to the private sector.

The public notice process includes a 15-day period for the municipality and residents to make written submissions about the application to the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO), which oversees retail cannabis operations in Ontario.

After the written submissions are made they are sent to the applicant for response. After that, an authorization decision is made by the AGCO registrar.

Other proposed franchises for the company will include two Toronto stores, as well as stores in Burlington, London and Ottawa.

“The majority of our planned locations in Ontario will be franchise-owned which fits with our business model," said the company in the press release. We also believe the benefits of franchising are well aligned with the policy objectives of the Ontario government in crafting their retail cannabis laws, namely to support and protect small business."

In February, Fire & Flower Inc. announced its intention to open a cannabis retail store in the former Dulux Paints store on Stone Road West. Earlier this month, an application to the City of Guelph was made to allow for a cannabis retailer in the north end at 739 Woolwich St.

To date, neither of those two applications has made it to the public notice stage of the the process.


Kenneth Armstrong

About the Author: Kenneth Armstrong

Kenneth Armstrong is a news reporter and photojournalist who regularly covers municipal government, business and politics and photographs events, sports and features.
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