Lineups for opening day at Ottawa's 3 retail cannabis shops
Shops open for business in Centretown, ByWard Market and Wellington West
All three private cannabis shops permitted to open in Ottawa as of today did so on time, while elsewhere in Ontario, some stores aren't yet ready for customers.
Cynthia Judge lined up outside the Hobo Recreational Cannabis Store on Bank Street at 7 a.m.
It's the same space the illegal cannabis dispensary Cannabis Culture used to operate out of before it was raided by police and its owners were evicted.
A former employee at Cannabis Culture, Shawn MacAleese, told CBC News he has doubts about the new store.
"They should be just as good as going to the LCBO and being able to talk to someone about wine," he said.
"I'm interested to see if they actually do know what they're talking about. I have good reason to believe that some of them might not."
Cynthia Judge, who lined up outside the Hobo shop at 7 a.m., said she's excited for the safety and security that comes with buying cannabis legally.
"It's clean, no fentanyl, nothing in the pot, and I've been smoking for at least 25 years, so I'm very, very anxious for this," Judge said.
Tarek Hassan said he has no problem with cannabis shops, but he finds the name Hobo "offensive."
"It's a derogatory name for homeless folks, and it's gentrifying [the area]. And it's offering something that a lot of people enjoy, but at a gentrified price. So there's just a lot packed in there that's pretty offensive," he said.
Harrison Stoker, who works for Hobo's parent company Donnelly Group, said they wanted to use the name Hobo years ago for a potential boutique hotel, and were inspired by a magazine in Vancouver with the same name.
"Also we have an appetite for the disruptive and the edgy, and something that really just starts a dialogue as well, which I think Hobo has done," Stoker said.
Police called to Superette over the weekend
Drummond Munro, who owns the Superette retail shop on Wellington Street W., said a minor incident over the weekend required a police response.
A window was broken and temporarily boarded up, but has since been replaced, Munro said.