Orillia cannabis connoisseurs may have pick of pot shops

Applications are underway for three cannabis stores in Orillia – including two on the city’s historic main street.

Miss Jones Cannabis Co. and Happy Dayz Orillia have applications before the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario for locations at 81 Mississaga St. E. and 69 Mississaga St. E. respectively.

Sessions Cannabis has applied to open a shop in the city’s west end, at 30 Diana Dr., in a unit across from the local Starbucks.

The status of each of the three applications is currently listed as ‘in progress’.

In progress indicates the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario has received an application to open a retail cannabis store and the process is underway.

In the public notice stage, written submissions are accepted from residents of the municipality, or the municipality itself, during a 15-day period.

In operation since 2007, Happy Dayz currently sells cannabis accessories at its location on Mississaga Street East.

Friendly Stranger Holdings Corp. purchased the business in 2019.

“The family run business has been servicing consumers for the past 13 years and it has always been the dream to open up cannabis retail stores under the brand name,” president James Jesty said in a statement provided to Simcoe.com. “Once the government announced an open retail market model for Ontario, we knew it was time to transition some of our locations.”

Sessions Cannabis currently operates a location in Collingwood, which it opened in December.

Orillia council in early 2019 agreed to allow cannabis shops, with the province initially restricting the number of bricks-and-mortar shops due to a shortage of cannabis from licensed producers.

Under this phased approach, just 25 shops were allowed to open by April 1, 2019 in communities of more than 50,000 people.

While allowing for cannabis shops, Orillia council also passed a sweeping ban prohibiting the use of marijuana, tobacco and e-cigarettes on property owned or leased by the city.  

A cannabis retail store is authorized to open once it meets regulatory requirements and passes a pre-opening inspection from the alcohol and gaming authority.

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