Update: Jeff Leiper, BIA welcome first Ottawa cannabis shop proposed for Wellington West

cannabis
Editor's Note

This story was updated to include comments from Jeff Leiper and the Wellington West BIA.

Ottawa’s first legal pot shop may be coming to Wellington Village.

The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario, the provincial regulator in charge of distributing cannabis retail licenses, has posted an application on its website for resident feedback on the proposed site.

The application, posted under the name Superette, would see a cannabis storefront open up at 1306 Wellington St. W. on the corner of Warren Avenue. The five-storey building is owned by Huntington Properties, which lists 3,371 square feet of ground floor retail space as up for lease on its website. The site had previously been home to the healthy living store terra20.

Residents have until Feb. 22 to submit feedback on the proposed site through the AGCO. Ottawa city council has no authority to impose zoning bylaw restrictions on cannabis store locations under the Ontario government’s private cannabis retail scheme.

In a statement Kitchissippi Coun. Jeff Leiper reiterated his support for cannabis shops in his ward, and said he's been in touch with the Superette ownership team to ensure the firm presents a "friendly face" to the neighbourhood.

"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," he said.

Leiper also noted there may be an influx of traffic and parking issues should the Superette storefront end up as the sole shop in Ottawa for any length of time. Media reports are also suggesting that cannabis retailers are also hoping to set up shop in the ByWard Market.

The Wellington West BIA echoed Leiper's optimism in a statement of its own.

“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. This is the opposite of the old stereotype of marijuana shops,” said executive director Dennis Van Staalduinen.

Pot storefronts are expected to open across Ontario on April 1.