Petrolia could soon have two cannabis stores

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Two entrepreneurs hope to set up cannabis stores in Petrolia – including one in the downtown.

Can-na-bis has applied to the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario to set up shop at 4212 Petrolia Line – the former Hub insurance office next to Petrolia Bluewater Tae Kwon Do and Rose Gold Cannabis, which wants to set up a shop at 4247 Oil Heritage Road – the plaza next door to MacFarlane Chev.

Mayor Brad Loosley told councillors Monday afternoon the municipality was made aware of the AGCO was considering the shops, but he also heard from people connected with Taekwondo who are worried about having a cannabis store next door to a facility frequented by children. Loosley says a petition has been started to stop the approval.

People have 15 days to register their comments on the opening of a store normally. The application for the Petrolia Line store’s comment period is almost up. People have until Friday to register comments at the AGCO’s website for the downtown site. It’s unclear if the comment stage for the Oil Heritage Road site is complete.

Several councillors say having a retail store in town would not be a big deal. Councillor Ross O’Hara says he and Councillor Grant Purdy visited a store while in Quebec at a conference and found it “professional and clean. There wasn’t any problem at all.”

Councillor Joel Field agreed saying “it is not like there are people standing outside the store smoking…I hope people realize that it is not just like a drug dealer on the corner,” he says.

Loosley says the decision for whether the shops are granted a licence lies solely with the AGCO.

It may take some time however before the shops would open. A recent Bloomberg news report said there are over 900 store applications waiting to be processed and only five licences are being granted each week this summer. At that rate it could be two years if an application is submitted today.

On Sept. 1, the AGCO announced it would be moving to double the pace of store authorizations this fall.The AGCO continues to receive hundreds of new applications monthly.