Will Kingston’s ‘joints’ be open on time? – Kingston

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It’s a race against time to get two pot stores in Kingston ready to open on April 1.

“They are working night and day as far as we can tell. And that is what the neighbour businesses report as well,” says Doug Richie, managing director of the Downtown Kingston BIA.

With less than 10 days to go, renovations to both downtown pot shops have reached a fever pitch.


READ MORE:
Council votes to allow cannabis shops in Kingston

At the new Spiritleaf location at the corner of Princess and Ontario streets, the work continues inside.

“I’ve had a peek in at one location already and they are going to be beautiful stores,” says Richie.

“Honestly, we have no objections to it,” says Guy Paquette, owner of Bagot Leather Goods & Luggage Plus.

Paquette’s leather goods store is across the street from Spiritleaf. He’s been in business for 34 years and welcomes this new infusion in the downtown core.

“Realistically, it’s a legal operation. They are another retailer and from what I heard for the building owners they are a premium operation and premium business owners. And they will operate their business in that way and we’re looking forward to it,” says Paquette.

But will the stores be open in time?

Both owners, based out of Alberta, told Global News they are well on the road to meeting the deadline.

The 25 successful lottery winners awarded a licence to operate a cannabis store in Ontario — including Spiritleaf and Fire and Flowers on Brock Street south of Wellington Street — have a target opening of April 1.

Not doing so would mean a fine of up to $25,000.


READ MORE:
Large cannabis retailer partnering with AGCO lottery winner to open Kingston store

The Downtown Kingston BIA is on board with the operators choosing to open in the core.

“It’s another important peg in the puzzle about being a full-service downtown, with a heavy lean towards entertainment, facilities and tourism centre. It’ll be great,” says Richie.

And with the possibility of more foot traffic and a new customer demographic for other retailers around two of Ontario’s first brick and mortar cannabis stores, Paquette says: “To me, if it’s a consumer, it’s a consumer. And we are just happy there is someone on the street corner across the street from us.”

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.


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