STATEMENT FROM WWBIA: Re. First Cannabis Retail Application in Ottawa
WELLINGTON WEST BUSINESS IMPROVEMENT AREA, FEBRUARY 8, 2019:
Wellington West BIA, the local organization of merchants in Hintonburg and Wellington Village, is pleased to see the first formal application has been filed with the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario to operate Ottawa’s first legal cannabis store at 1306 Wellington Street West. Branded “Superette”, the new shop would open this spring in the former home of Terra 20 – which will be re-launching soon at its new Hintonburg location, also in the BIA.
As BIA Executive Director Dennis Van Staalduinen says of the new store:
“This is all very new and will certainly require some getting used to. But we’re glad Ottawa’s first legal retailer will open right on the thriving, food-rich Wellington Village commercial strip in a bright, well-lit new space – the opposite of the old stereotype of marijuana shops.”
The BIA is aware there will be concerns among some neighbours and businesses about issues from security and social impact to traffic and parking challenges – particularly during the initial high-demand opening period we anticipate before other Ottawa stores come on line.
To that end, over the last couple of weeks, BIA staff have already begun initial discussions with the company applying for the permit, and have coordinated with the building owners and Councillor Jeff Leiper’s office. They will now be reaching out to partners in the community, social services sector, and at the City. This relationship will surely evolve over time. But so far the BIA has been impressed by the professionalism and responsiveness of Superette management. In an e-mail to the BIA, the Superette CEO assured neighbours:
“Since day one, Superette’s priority is to be part of the communities in which we operate, and not just another retailer. It is important to us that the community residents, leadership, and fellow retailers and entrepreneurs understand what we can bring to the area and that we address any comments, questions, or concerns they may have.”Mimi Lam, CEO, Superette
That is a good start to a positive, open, ongoing dialogue. In that vein, the BIA also encourages anyone who would like to comment on this application to have their say, using the public feedback form on the AGCO web site. The Application File Number is 443269.