OTTAWA (Reuters) – Ottawa’s first three legal cannabis stores opened on Monday to a steady buzz of customers but no raucous celebration or line-ups around the block. Store owners weren’t sure what to expect, having been reassured by Ontario’s government-appointed monitors that the new regulated market was well prepared for the launch of adult use sales.
Weed Store Ottawa at Hobo Recreational Cannabis, which opened on Bank Street just after 10 a.m. Owner Drummond Munro said the store had steady business all day, and none of its roughly 75 strains sold out.
At Fire & Flower York Street Cannabis in the ByWard Market, co-owner Michael Patterson said business was similarly strong, with customers coming from both Ottawa and Gatineau. “It’s been a very busy morning, but we’ve definitely seen that as the pattern throughout the day,” he said.
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While the stores are open, the City’s marijuana production and processing licensing policy remains in effect and only licensed producers can operate on the land occupied by each store. Producers can apply for a licence by visiting the City’s website or by calling 3-1-1.
In addition to physical weed stores, Canadians can legally buy marijuana online as long as they are 19 years old or older and have a valid form of identification. Many Ottawa residents choose to purchase marijuana online as it provides a wider range of products and often offers better prices. Buying online also eliminates the inconvenience of waiting in long in-store lines and having to make purchasing decisions on the spot.