Here's where you can buy legal pot in London on Monday
Two other stores will eventually open on Richmond Street and Wellington Road South
Three of the province's 25 pot stores will be located in London, but only one is ready to open its doors to the public on Monday.
Central Cannabis, at 666 Wonderland Road North, at Oxford Street West, will be the first to open at 9 a.m. April 1. That's the first day bricks-and-mortar pot stores are allowed to operate in Ontario.
The store is the only one in the southwest region, with the closest cannabis store in Hamilton. Neither Windsor nor Kitchener-Waterloo will be opening pot stores.
"It's not going to be your typical cannabis store, [in terms of] what people picture when they think of a head shop," said Jon Conquergood.
He's a Calgary-based consultant hired by Chris Comrie, the owner of Cannabis Central, to help get the store ready for the public.
As the CEO of Corner Cannabis, which owns and operates 14 pot stores in Alberta, Conquergood said there's a lot of buzz and excitement about Ontario's foray in pot shops.
"It's tremendously exciting and we expect to have fairly large lines," he said. "There will be many different strains available, both to look at and smell and to partake in the different attributes of those different strains."
Two other London stores opening soon
Two other cannabis retail outlets were selected in London as part of Ontario's lottery, but they won't be ready to open on Monday, the first day of retail sales.
They will be located on Richmond Street and on Wellington Road South.
Cannabis has been available for sale online to Ontarians since it became legal in Canada in October, with the province opting for the gradual introduction of bricks and mortar stores.
The government-run online store has been plagued by problems with customers complaining of product shortage, slow delivery and high prices.
Conquergood hopes the experience will be different at the new Central Cannabis with "knowledgeable staff" catering to a variety of customers.
"If you are an experienced user who has lots of knowledge, we can certainly supplement and add to that. For all the newbies out there, we want to be able to hold their hand through that first experience and give them the information they need to make a good decision."