Brampton shop owner says that cannabis sellers from the illicit market noticed the buzz, and some came by to lure customers away
April 1 marked a new epoch in Ontario cannabis retail, with the province’s first private, brick-and-mortar dispensaries for recreational adult-use cannabis opening to massive media and neighbourhood attention.
Staff and clients at Brampton’s Ganjika House on Main Street witnessed a bustling first day on when it first opened its doors on Monday morning.
Owner Clint Seukeran says that cannabis sellers from the illicit market noticed the buzz, claiming that some came by in an attempt to lure customers away from the lineup to purchase black market bud instead.
“We had some jokers coming around, sort of telling people in line, ‘forget legal cannabis, buy illegal cannabis half-price off’. These sorts of things are really not acceptable, and I think there should be more enforcement,” he told the Brampton Guardian. “I’d really like to see more enforcement of that because we don’t want the customers to feel unsafe, and at the same time don’t want to see them be pestered.”
There were plenty of clients available to pester, with lines stretching far since doors opened early Monday. Clients can smell and examine flower before purchasing in clear plastic “bud pods,” with security on hand at the entrance to check ID and limit the number of patrons in the shop at one time.
“We have a lot of excited people here standing up in line to come inside. The experience has been great so far from our end, and I think the customers have also been quite happy with the store,” says Seukeran.
Retailers in Ontario are hoping that the advent of private shops will cull the number of illicit sources for purchasing cannabis and strike a blow to the illegal market. This year the black market is expected to take over 70 percent of cannabis sales in Canada.
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