CTV WINDSOR – Aug. 21, 2019 – Bob Bellacicco
A retail pot shop looks to be in Windsor’s future — and it could be downtown.
Windsor applicant Kyriakos Anastasiadis has been chosen in the Ontario cannabis lottery.
The proposed location is 545 Ouellette Ave.
“I don’t think we need to be concerned about any riff raff or undesirables that might come as a result of it,” said Jonathon Liedtke, former owner of the Higher Limits Cannabis Lounge in downtown Windsor.
Liedtke was also one of thousands of applicants in the second round of applicants but wasn’t selected.
“It’s going to bring more foot traffic into the downtown core which is something many business owners have been clamouring for,” said Liedtke.
The location of the proposed pot shop is also being supported by the Downtown Windsor Business Improvement Association.
“This is going to bring a lot of people,” said Brian Yeomans, president of the DWBIA. “It’s the only one in Windsor. It’ll bring a lot of people to the core. People will want to piggy back on that business.”
The province held its second lottery to select operators hoping to run cannabis shops in the province.
The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario selected 42 companies Monday that can apply for pot store licences, with the results made public Tuesday.
Applicants have to show evidence that if they are selected, they have secured retail space that could be used as a store and have enough capital to open it.
Those selected will have until Aug. 28 to pay licensing fees, and provide a letter of credit for $50,000 to the regulator.
The 42 new stores will be distributed regionally, with 13 in the city of Toronto, six going to the Greater Toronto Area, 11 in the west region, seven going to the east region, and in the north, one each in Kenora, North Bay, Sault Ste. Marie, Thunder Bay and Timmins.
“People need to ask why isn’t the provincial government under Doug Ford decided to implement this kind of licensing strategy,” said Liedtke.
Following the second round of licensing, Ontario, the largest Canadian province, could have fewer than 70 licensed retail cannabis stores — compared to 250 in Alberta.
“Which is woefully inadequate for a province of our size,” said Liedtke. “We have 14 million people.”
Windsor, Leamington, Essex, Amherstburg, Kingsville, Pelee Island and Chatham-Kent opted in to host a cannabis store.
LaSalle, Lakeshore and Tecumseh have opted out.
— With files from The Canadian Press.