Office of Councillor Jeff Leiper, Kitchissippi Ward, Ottawa | (613) 580-2485  |
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1306 Welllington proposed as Ottawa's first cannabis store

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The media this morning is breaking the story that Superette is proposing the City's first retail cannabis store at 1306 Wellington Street West - the old Terra20 store.

This morning, I've spoken with the landlord and Superette ownership about my expectations that the store will present a friendly face to the community. The ownership are keen to maintain a good relationship with myself and neighbours, and I am very confident that there will be a good dialog between us as we go down this path for the first time.

I won't re-iterate all my views on retail cannabis storefronts, having treated the subject fairly exhaustively last fall in a long blog post. You can read that here.

This morning, I'll just say that I consider this to be positive news. My expectation is that this store will be a positive addition to a successful retail strip, generating visits to the neighbourhood and creating economic activity. I recognize that there will be concerns, but, as my earier blog post exposited, I don't consider that there will be any significant negative implications for the public interest. However, while it is the only store in Ottawa, I also expect that it will generate lots of traffic and parking issues. As I would with any successful retailer, I'll work with them and with the City to try to mitigate that impact until more stores open across Ottawa in the months to come to reduce some of that pressure.

The store is seeking final approval from the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario, and that regulatory body has opened a consultation site for feedback here. I encourage everyone to submit their comments, pro or con. It looks like they're experiencing some technical issues (the captcha doesn't work), and the City is passing that glitch on to AGCO.

I'll also be providing comment to the City since they'll submit a form comment to the Province focused on its proximity to uses like community/rec centres, schools, and libraries. In each instance, this particular location is at some significant distance away.

I look forward to hearing your feedback.

Posted February 8, 2019