A storefront for medical marijuana patients that was due to open last August will finally open Thursday.
Tweed will open what it calls a "patient support centre" at 100 James St. S., just south of Hunter Street. The company has taken over the former MedCannAccess, which had planned to open a centre there last August but couldn't get a license.
But Tweed has one, and as of 11 a.m. Thursday, Hamilton will have its first medical marijuana storefront, said Tweed spokesperson Jordan Sinclair.
"It's a comfortable atmosphere," he said of the new support centre. "We'll have iPad stations where people can go through the catalogue of products that we have."
The centre will offer customer support representatives who can answer questions about medical marijuana regulations, navigate the application process and, once they have a prescription, have Tweed mail them medical marijuana. No marijuana will be on site.
Last June, the federal government introduced the new Marijuana for Medical Purposes regulations, which means medical marijuana users have to go to licensed commercial producers, as opposed to people being licensed growers on their own.
The city has fielded numerous requests from licensed medical marijuana growers to set up in Hamilton. There were so many, in fact, that city councillors debated how to zone the new enterprises.
Tweed will open a similar medical support centre in Guelph on the same day, and one in the GTA shortly after. The company is focusing its efforts on Ontario, Sinclair said, because data shows that's where the bulk of the medical marijuana business lies.
The support centre will have an official name, although Sinclair is keeping mum on what it is until the grand opening on Thursday.
Tweed produces medical marijuana at the old Hershey factory in Smiths Falls, and in Niagara-on-the-Lake through its sister company, Tweed Farms.
The centre is opening in city with one of the highest rates of enforcement of marijuana possession offences in the country. Statistics Canada information released this summer shows that the number of marijuana-related charges laid by Hamilton police increased 154 per cent from 2006 to 2014.