The public notice period for a cannabis retail store set to open its doors to the public in Ridgetown in September has ended.
According to the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario, the public notice period for Cannabis Xpress ended July 24. The Public Notice indicates that written submissions were being accepted for that location until the date listed. Written submissions could only be made during the 15-day public notice period and only by a municipality resident in which the proposed store is located or the municipality itself.
AGCO states a cannabis retail store authorization may be issued to the applicant (Cannabis Xpress) unless the Registrar finds it is not in the public interest, pursuant to the Cannabis License Act, 2018. Matters of public interest include: protecting public health and safety, protecting youth and restricting their access to cannabis and preventing illicit activities in relation to cannabis.
In the meantime, Cannabis Xpress continues to prepare for its grand opening, scheduled for a date to be announced later, in September.
According to Chris Jones, President and Founder of Cannabis Xpress, many residents of Ridgetown are excited to have a cannabis store in town.
“We have spoken to several locals in the town, and they are excited that we are opening,” said Jones. “Many of them said they want a local option that is closer and more accessible versus having to go to a reserve to buy their cannabis or from an illicit source.”
Jones said he has even received support from members of council.
“The town has embraced us and has expressed they are happy for us to open so that we: employ locals, reduce crime/illegal cannabis sales, receive additional tax revenue, and generally having a new business in town is always beneficial,” said Jones.
The founder of Cannabis Xpress also said council members from the region of Chatham-Kent would attend the Grand Opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony.
The first Cannabis Xpress store opened in April 2021 in Brampton, Ont. Since then, the company has blossomed and opened several more stores. The sixth store in Ridgetown is anticipated to open sometime in September 2021 and is located at 39 Main Street East, Ridgetown, Ontario, N0P 2C0, Canada.
Jones said he is confident the store will get the green light and open come September.
“We have not had any difficulties during our public notice period. I’ve gone through the process many times and have never had any issues before,” said Jones. “Once the town understands who we are and what we offer - they usually get even more excited when we open.”
Jones, who started Cannabis Xpress after working in the cannabis industry for several years on large M&A deals in the USA, said the business is simple.
“I’ve witnessed the rapid growth of stores opening across Ontario, and they all lack fundamental insights and strategy on what customers actually want,” said Jones.
He said Cannabis Xpress is a new chain of cannabis retail stores in Ontario with a core focus on speed and efficiency, convenience, limited product selection and price. He added customers could be in and out in under 3minutes, and more than 75 percent of products are significantly cheaper than competitors.
“We will price the same products at a lower price than any store,” said Jones. “We want to hire locals and support other fellow businesses. All of our stores are highly unique. Our Brampton location is the smallest licensed cannabis store in Canada. This location will be the first-ever in Ridgetown.”
Questions about Cannabis Xpress’ submission should be directed to agco.ca/iagco or 416-326-8700 or 1-800-522-2876 (toll-free in Ontario).
Bird Bouchard, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Ridgetown Independent News