Windsor’s first cannabis store is going ahead with its grand opening

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Businesses of many different stripes are shutting their doors this week in line with some provinces declaring states of emergency amid the COVID-19 spread, but not all.

In the wake of the Ontario government declaring cannabis an essential service, Windsor’s first legal cannabis shop is gearing up to open for business, possibly as soon as this Friday.

David Craig, chief design officer for J. Supply Holdings, told CBC News that the store is “still on track to open this week,” but that the company has made “some new adaptations” to mitigate risk and ensure the health and safety of staff and clients alike.

Instead of throwing one of the pre-pandemic-style grand openings, the store will have an online order process that can be completed outside of the shop.

Clients can then drop by to pick up their orders, something that is expected to minimize the time spent in-store. Additionally, a limited number of clients at a time will be allowed to enter the premises and staff will don protective gear to reduce any risk of transmission.

J. Supply Co cannabis store artist rendering. / Photo: Image courtesy of J. Suppy Co. / Windsor Star Image courtesy of J. Supply Co. / Windsor Star

Other measures will also be in place, such as the frequently sanitizing all surfaces, keeping cannabis products and consumption accessories out of reach of clients and/or behind glass, and implementing a ban on cash payments for the time being.

Craig said that more details about the planned opening will be released once more things are finalized. “Our main concern is to serve the community [in] a responsible way and to keep our staff safe.”

The long-awaited store, which is located at 545 Ouellette Ave., was originally slated to open between March 20 and 27 after entering into an agreement with London-based entrepreneur Kirk Anastasiadis, who scored a spot in the now-defunct Ontario pot shop lottery last August. The store was initially delayed because of a backlog at the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario, the agency that governs the province’s cannabis sector.

Approximately 800 people applied for the 18 jobs available at the dispensary

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