How Coffee Shops Became the Best Places to Drink Wine, Beer, and Cocktails

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Some might say I spend too much time in coffee shops. And others might argue I spend too much time in bars. Whether or not they’re right, I’m happy to say that I’ll be cutting my time in half. Why? How? Not because I’ll be drinking fewer cortados or saisons, but because local beers, natural wines, and dialed-in cocktails are cropping up all over coffee shop menus. The espresso joints I already love are turning into my favorite places to grab a drink at night.

It used to be that you’d spend about six minutes in a coffee shop. Enter. Order. Pay. Add your cream or sugar (or just leave it black!). And get the hell out. But that was when coffee shops were places that sold coffee and not much else. Now that you can grab a drink that’s as good as the specialty coffee you’re drinking, there’s not much reason to leave.

And it makes sense that groovy alcoholic drinks are showing up on coffee shop menus. The commitment to quality booze mirrors the terroir-driven coffees sold at third-wave coffee joints, so it’s no surprise that those who put care into choosing organic Kenyan coffee are geeking out over biodynamic Riesling. But it’s also about the money. “Having high alcohol margins allows us to keep our coffee affordable and get customers in the door more than once a day,” says Andrew Trautman, one of the owners of Remedy House in Buffalo.

And it works. On my last visit, I remember entering the shop, seeing the wall of amaro and liquor, tasting my cortado, and thinking, “Yeah, I’ll be back for a cocktail tonight.”

Sure, I could go to a bar, but at Remedy House there’s no bouncer. No television. No shouting. Just a chill vibe and a fantastic drinks menu in a beautiful corner space. This is the new breed of coffee shop. Actually, let’s call them coffee bars. Here are a few that are nailing the dual identity across the country, and what to order once you get there.

abraco 1

Alex Lau

The scene at New York’s Abraço

Yeah, let’s start with Remedy house, because this place absolutely rules. The espresso drinks are exceptional, made with beans from a rotating list of roasters, and whether you want a cocktail or a glass of wine, beer, or amaro, you’ll get a good one here. The wine list features local natural winemakers like Liten Buffel, as well as bottles from places farther afield, including France and Slovenia. The beer list is constantly changing and filled with New York craft brewers. And the spritzes coming from behind the bar are always in-season, even with a couple feet of Buffalo snow.

I was in Greenville before Methodical started serving wine, and it was still my favorite spot in town. The in-house roasted beans are bright and fruity, and the pastries from Bake Room are some of the best I’ve had anywhere. (Get the morning bun.) But as of late last year, they’ve started to serve a small list of killer natural wines from producers like Broc Cellars. Go in the early afternoon. Get a coffee. Bask in the natural light. Sip your pet-nat. And keep doing that until they kick you out.

Philly’s W/N W/N Coffee bar is a bit different than any of the other shops on this list. They open at 4 p.m., stay open until 2 am. and they have a Detroit-style pizza pop-up in the back of the bar. But they do serve A+ local espresso from roasters like Elixr, and their cocktail program is damn good. Grabbing a drink with house-made bitters or house-fermented tepache is always a good call, but I’m a sucker for their amaro list. Ask the bartender what’s poppin’, and grab a glass of the good stuff with a single ice cube.

You know this coffee-bar phenomenon is real, because it’s made its way to Florida with Intermezzo, a bar and coffee shop serving Eastlick Coffee Roasters. Eastlick roasts a wide variety of beans, but its Brazilian and Kenyan beans shine especially brightly. The space has an oyster bar too, which means you should grab a martini (I shouldn’t even have to say with gin) and get busy with those bivalves.

Either/Or – Portland, OR

Tiki Drinks and coffee? Maybe not a logical combo for most, but for the folks at Either/Or, it was a no brainer. The name might make you think that you have to opt for one or the other, but you can have your cake and drink it too. The bartenders have created a bunch of cocktails that involve coffee brewed at the shop, and once you get a taste for the crossover event of the century, you won’t be able to get it out of your mind.

Abraço – New York, NY

This Manhattan coffee shop has been slinging espresso and pouring glasses of vermouth for over a decade. The bar section (of the menu and the space itself) is small and easy to miss, but with the recent expansion of savory dinner options, the wine and amari are becoming more trafficked. Regardless of when you show up, do not miss the baked goods. They’re all made in-house and range from vegetable frittatas to olive oil cake to Portugese olive cookies. Yeah that’s right, they’re bringing it on every possible level.

Figure 8 – Austin, TX

This is the type of place that enables my afternoon drinking habit. Figure 8’s space is beautiful, whether you’re sitting inside next to some potted plants, or outside at a picnic table. I’ll say that it’s easier to make the transition from cold brew to cold beer on the patio though. A can of Live Oak pilsner or a large format bottle of a Jester King sour goes down real easy out there in the sun.

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Kyoto Coffee Shops That Will Turn You into a “Coffee Person”

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I’m definitely not a “coffee person.” I typically don’t go out of my way to try a new shop, or geek out over a specific blend. I drink it to be productive. But on a recent trip to Kyoto, after reading about how stellar the city’s coffee scene was, I decided to be that person. You know, the kind who walks a mile or two for a good cup, cares about whether or not the beans are roasted in-house, and stalks Instagram to see where the locals go. Plus, I knew I was going to be jet lagged as hell and would need it. So I did some research (turns out Japan drinks a lot of coffee), starred a bunch of spots in my Google Maps, and got going. Here are the shops that served up A+ lattes, and brought me to neighborhoods I wouldn’t have otherwise visited.

kyoto weekenders coffee

Photo by Rachel Karten

I am a person who takes photos of their latte art now!

WEEKENDERS COFFEE

Down an alley, and through an hourly parking lot you’ll find Weekenders Coffee. If you aren’t looking for it, you won’t find it. But after weaving through some parked cars, you’ll see a white townhouse with its wooden door slid open to a small espresso bar. They roast their own beans (a thing I now care about), and use a La Marzocco for their espresso drinks (a thing I now kinda care about). It’s right near the definitely-worth-visiting Nishiki Market, so plan to hit this spot before or after. But be advised: The coffee shop is closed on Wednesdays and there’s limited seating.

kyoto arabica

Photo by Rachel Karten

Yes, that’s the view from the Arashiyama location of % Arabica.

% ARABICA

A small chain with 30 shops across 11 countries (and more in the works), I specifically sought out the location in Arashiyama. Sure it’s a bit outside of the city, but it’s nestled between the Arashiyama Mountains, Ooi River, and Togetsukyo Bridge, and to call it picturesque would be an understatement. There was a line out the door when I arrived at around 10 a.m. (it’s near Tenryū-ji, a UNESCO World Heritage temple, and the Arashiyama Bamboo Grove), and wins the award for “Most Tourists” out of all the coffee shops I visited. But the latte was great, and it properly fueled my day of weaving through selfie sticks.

kyoto wife and husband

Photo by Rachel Karten

Dream picnic situation at Wife&Husband.

WIFE&HUSBAND

This spot made me the kind of person who BIKES to a COFFEE SHOP, which feels pivotal to my rebrand as a “coffee person.” The small shop, close to the Kamo River bike path, is Instagram famous (just look at it!) for renting out picnic kits (cute seating included) for customers to take to the nearby river. I opted against this and sat inside their tiny, antique-filled shop instead. The coffee (which they roast in-house) was amazing, but the cheese-and-honey milk bread toast I ordered along with it was one of the most delicious things I ate in Kyoto. Oh, and yes, it’s owned by a husband-wife team.

kyoto walden woods

Photo by Rachel Karten

Walden Woods is a decidedly not-cozy coffee shop.

WALDEN WOODS

The neighborhood around Walden Woods feels quiet and isolated, and for a moment you’ll swear you missed it. But then you’ll see it: A stark white shop that looks like an Apple store selling lattes. Bare and minimalist—downstairs there’s just the bar; upstairs there’s cement, bleacher-like seating with no tables—it’s decidedly anti-cozy, but it serves a mean iced matcha latte.

kyoto pass the baton

Photo by Rachel Karten

The matcha kakigōri at Pass The Baton is a thing of beauty.

PASS THE BATON

This is cheating, because I didn’t actually get a latte here, but because this vintage store serves coffee and tea in small shop in front, it still counts. Instead, I showed up for the enormous matcha kakigōri: a mountain of shaved ice topped with matcha syrup and condensed milk. Think fluffy shaved ice with layers of bright, borderline-bitter matcha syrup balanced out by a sweet, thick drizzle of condensed milk. Yeah, more coffee shops should have kakigōri. And probably vintage stores too.

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Barrie city councillors give initial approval for retail cannabis shops – Barrie

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At a general committee meeting Monday evening, Barrie city councillors gave initial approval for allowing bricks-and-mortar cannabis stores within the city’s borders.

A staff report to the general committee recommended provincially licensed retail stores be permitted within Barrie, subject to provincial and federal regulations.


READ MORE:
Applications open to enter lottery for 25 retail cannabis licenses in Ontario

The province has given municipalities until Jan. 22 to opt out of having private cannabis storefronts operate within their boundaries. If the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) has not received written notification from a municipality by the deadline, private cannabis retail stores will be allowed within the jurisdiction by default.

If Barrie chooses to opt in, the city will have little say as to where the cannabis retail stores will be located. That decision is up to the AGCO, which will be responsible for approving or denying site applications.


READ MORE:
Applications open to enter lottery for 25 retail cannabis licenses in Ontario

According to provincial regulations, retail cannabis stores must be at least 150 metres away from schools, must bar anyone under the age of 19 from entering and will operate between 9 a.m. and 11 p.m.

However, Barrie’s plan is to extend the 150-metre limit to 300 metres around schools, Georgian College locations, parks and open spaces, day nurseries and childcare centres, libraries, community centres, mental health centres and addiction facilities such as alcohol and detox centres and clinics.


READ MORE:
Lottery for 25 Ontario retail cannabis licences to take place next week

City council would also like to extend the distance between cannabis stores and stores that sell alcohol to 300 metres to avoid “clustering” and would ban the smoking of cannabis, including vaping, on city sidewalks.

If the city decides to opt in, staff will include these additional proposed guidelines in their “public interest statement” to the AGCO for consideration.

Now that councillors have given their initial approval, the matter will be up for final approval on Monday.

The first 25 retail cannabis stores are scheduled to open on April 1.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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5 Paris Coffee Shops We Want to Hang Out In All Day Long

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We know Paris has fancy restaurants and natural wine down, but we’re also so here for the coffee shops. Here are five spots that are worth checking out, whether it’s for a real breakfast in the morning or that jolt of caffeine you need in the afternoon.

 

Set in an old shoe-repair shop in the Marais, this spot is all about outdoor seating and espresso.

 

This “coffee stop” alongside Canal Saint- Martin goes full-bore on le brunch (avocado toast, six-minute eggs). Great coffee too!

 

With a picturesque breakfast and correct coffee drinks, this gorgeous café is our antidote to too much cool.

 

Paris’ OG third-wave coffee bar in the 1st is still going strong, with pour- overs made with rare Scandinavian beans.

 

This minuscule café in the 10th is as serious about coffee as it is about food and—amen—bread.

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No new pot shops, AGLC says in reaction to national product shortage

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Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis will not issue any new cannabis retail licences « until further notice » because of an ongoing national shortage of product, it said Wednesday.

The agency is also temporarily suspending accepting new applications for retail licences, it said in a statement from president and CEO Alain Maisonneuve.

« Since Oct. 17, 2018, cannabis supply levels have remained a concern for licence applicants, retailers and consumers alike, » Maisonneuve said in the statement.

« This has been the case in Alberta and across Canada. »

AGLC ordered enough product to support up to 250 retail stores in the first six months of legalization, but as of Nov. 17 had only received 20 per cent of what it had ordered, Maisonneuve said.

« While some licensed producers have fulfilled their commitments, not all have. We continue to work with them to fill stock. Unfortunately, regardless of our efforts, we are seeing the supply of most products run out. »

AGLC has tried hard to find additional product, including contacting all federally licensed producers, « but with no success due to the national shortage, » Maisonneuve said.

« Licensed producers are working with Health Canada to receive their licences and increase the amount of product available across the country.

« Our priority is to ensure private Alberta retailers are supported. We will continue to allocate the majority of our scarce inventory to private retailers.

« We will still maintain some online product to allow consumers in communities where there are not any retail stores to purchase online. »

Maisonneuve said all applicants in various stages of the licensing process will receive a full refund of all licensing fees if they want to withdraw from the application process.

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First legal weed sold in Canada at Newfoundland shops

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The first legal recreational cannabis has officially been sold in Canada.

In Newfoundland and parts of Labrador, which has a separate timezone from the rest of Canada, midnight comes earlier, and people were ready and waiting for marijuana to be sold to them over the counter.

The first sales went to Ian Power and Nikki Rose, who lined up outside awaiting the opening of the Tweed retail location on Water Street in downtown St. John’s.

The lineup at the Tweed store started at around 8 p.m. NT, and steadily grew as the time ticked down to 12 a.m.

Ian Power lined up at 8 p.m. so he could « make history. »

« It’s been my dream to be the first person to buy the first legal gram of cannabis in Canada, and here I finally am, » Power said.

Ian Power says he hopes the stereotype of a ‘stupid stoner’ is gone in the near future, following the legalization of cannabis in Canada. (Ted Dillon/CBC)

« I’m elated. I’m so excited, I can’t stop smiling. I’m not cold. It’s freezing cold out, but I’m not cold. »

Tweed opened its doors just before midnight so customers could start filing in, amid a crowd of media, to line up to buy their first legal bud.

« When’s the last time you bought a gram and got a receipt for it? Never happened, » said Canopy CEO Bruce Linton to his first customers, Power and Rose, as they stood in the front of the line for sales to officially start.

« For me it just proves that Canadians are open to this, they’re ready for this. It’s not like, ‘Oh my God look at that sketchy character,' » Linton told CBC News after ringing in the first sale.

Linton added that at the company’s headquarters in Smith’s Falls, Ont., he was approached by a 102-year-old woman who was curious about cannabis products.

Canopy Growth CEO Bruce Linton says people just want to know about marijuana, and now they don’t need to be afraid to ask. (Ted Dillon/CBC)

« Everybody wants to understand it, » Linton said. « They don’t like ignoring it. »

Scrapping the stigma

Meanwhile, Power, who said he has advocated for cannabis users and patients for years, said he’s hopeful legalization will help eliminate what he calls stigma around the substance.

« I think the social stigma of the ‘stupid stoner’ or the criminal element for using cannabis, a benign substance, as my choice of medicine or recreation, I think that’s gonna change, » Power said.

« Cannabis is in all walks of life. People who are unemployed, to the lawyers and judges in the country, so why not? »

The line of people outside Tweed in downtown St. John’s grew leading up to midnight, when N.L. started legally selling recreational marijuana. (Zach Goudie/CBC)

Last week, the Newfoundland and Labrador government announced that as of 12:01 a.m., marijuana would be able to be sold.

The NLC, the Crown regulatory agency, then said retailers would be allowed to operate from 9 a.m. until 2 a.m., meaning there’s a two-hour window at the very start of Oct. 17 when marijuana can be purchased.

Canopy Growth, one Canada’s largest cannabis companies, officially opened its Tweed store at 11:30 p.m.

Linton nearly missed the first legal sale due to high winds Tuesday that delayed his flight, but he was able to land to be on hand to sell the country’s first legal weed.

There are a number of other retailers, like THC Distribution in Portugal Cove-St. Philip’s, just outside of St. John’s, where owners are also opening for midnight sales.

Owner Thomas H. Clarke says he’s « living the dream » opening a pot store at home, but worries that he might be out of product by Friday.

Thomas H. Clarke, right, sells his shop’s first legal marijuana to his father, Don. (Jeremy Eaton/CBC)

His first customer was his father, Don, while a crowd of about 100 people waited outside in line on a chilly and windy night to make their first legal purchases.

While the supply may be limited when sales start up, Clarke said there will be a wider selection available as time passes and more items hit the market.

Other shops also had lines outside their doors once midnight hit, with people scurrying to get in and make their legal purchases of marijuana before the mandatory closure at 2 a.m.

Each province sets its own marijuana regulations, including at what age people can purchase it, locations, quantity limits and smoking locations.

Read more articles from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador

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Some Toronto pot shops to stay open despite threat of prosecution

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TORONTO – Hours after marijuana becomes legal, Toronto enforcement officers will fan out across the city looking for any illegal pot shops still open – the start of a cat-and-mouse game that is expected to play out over the next six months.

Ontario will have no brick-and-mortar cannabis stores until April 1, 2019, with the only legal retailer being a provincial government-run online store.

The owners of the dozens of illegal pot dispensaries that have popped up in the city over the last few years have been promised an amnesty of sorts: Shut down by Oct. 17 and you can apply for a retail licence.


READ MORE:
Cannabis IQ: Here are all the legal ways to consume pot in Canada

City officials say those who don’t comply will be given a warning to start and escalation will follow.

“It’s not carte blanche, it’s not a free-for-all, we will continue sustained enforcement,” said Tracey Cook, the city’s executive director of municipal licensing and standards.

Under a new law that goes into effect on Wednesday, the city will have the power to order the interim closure of illegal pot dispensaries through a court order.

Toronto police Chief Mark Saunders said the dispensaries will eventually be shut down, but not on Wednesday due to resource issues.

“There will not be 100,000 police officers landing in the city of Toronto shutting down every element of a dispensary, but we will be shutting them down,” he told reporters Tuesday.

There were about 85 illegal pot dispensaries in Toronto three years ago, but that number dropped to about 30 following a police crackdown in May 2016, said Cook.

READ MORE: Weed is legal in Canada — but a majority of pot users still want to keep it ‘hush hush’: Ipsos poll

“In the last two months it shot back up to 80 locations again, which I think is absolutely foolish given they’re jeopardizing their lawful opportunities,” she said.

“But I can’t speak for the smarts of anyone breaking the law.”

At least three Toronto dispensaries have told The Canadian Press they will continue to operate after legalization, arguing the lack of physical stores until April means there will be a “gold rush” for those willing to break the law. More than 20 dispensaries hung up when asked about their plans.

“From Oct. 17 to April is where the money’s at,” said the co-owner of a dispensary that will stay open on Wednesday and did not want his name used for fear of criminal prosecution. “After that, they’ll be open on every corner so now’s the time to make money.”

READ MORE: New cannabis companies hope to grow by fighting ‘stoner culture’ labels

The co-owner, whose pot shop is located in the city’s downtown, said he plans to stay one step ahead of the city and police by complying with warnings and moving to a new location with new owners and new landlords.

“The real owners aren’t on any paper,” he said. “We are not worried about it. The black market will exist and will be strong.”

Both the city and police said they know about such tactics and have various investigative techniques to deal with it.

Jamie McConnell also wants in on the illicit “gold rush,” but he’s still facing 15 drug-trafficking-related charges stemming from two police raids of his pot shop, Sea of Green, in August.

WATCH: Weed and the workplace — are employers equipped for the implications?






If he could resolve those charges soon – the provincial government has said previous pot charges wouldn’t preclude someone from receiving a retail license – McConnell said he would reopen his business before April to take advantage of the lack of physical pot shops.

“It’s also going to be hella lucrative if everybody else is closing,” he said.

Justin Loizos is going the safe route. He said he’ll close his shop, called Just Compassion, and apply for a license. He started using pot several years ago in last-ditch effort to deal with multiple sclerosis.

Now he operates his shop for a group of members who have government-issued medicinal marijuana permits. His plan is to use his shop as a vapour lounge for members until April, which he said will put a strain on his finances.

WATCH: Is weed good or bad for you? Everything we know about the health effects of cannabis






“It’s unfortunate, but I might have to seek capital,” Loizos said.

But he has dreams of one day running his own “micro-grow” where he grows his own marijuana and sells it on site, like the craft breweries that have become popular around the country.

“Running a business is hard, retail is challenging. There are so many unknowns and if you do get in, there are so many big players to compete with,” he said.

“It will be hard, but it’s exciting, it really is. It’s like the gold rush.”

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Cannabis companies jockey for share of Ontario’s pot shops

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A battle is brewing over how Premier Doug Ford’s government will divvy up the private sector’s share of Ontario’s retail cannabis market.

Legislation that would allow companies to operate pot shops in Canada’s largest province is now under scrutiny at Queen’s Park and businesses are trying to influence key details of the bill. 

Once crucial aspect of the retail regime that’s still to be decided: how many cannabis retail licences any one corporation can hold. Government officials say there will be a limit, but that limit has not yet been set. 

This coming Wednesday, when the prohibition on recreational pot ends across Canada, the only legal way to buy it in Ontario will be through the government-run online retailer.

Storefronts selling pot will not open until April 1. That’s because the Ford government this summer scrapped the Wynne government’s plan for provincially-owned pot shops, instead opening up the market to the private sector. 

When the prohibition on recreational pot ends across Canada on Wednesday, the only legal way to buy cannabis in Ontario will be through the government-run online retailer. Storefronts will not open until April 1. (Robert F. Bukaty/Associated Press)

The Ford government is proposing to limit licensed marijuana producers and their affiliates to just one retail outlet, and that clause is drawing attention. 

Licensed producers should not be allowed to own any interest in cannabis retailers, says Jean Lepine, managing director of BlackShire Capital, a Toronto-based private equity firm that invests in privately-held cannabis companies. 

« Some of Canada’s biggest licensed cannabis producers … are stealthily working behind the scenes to ensure they have a position of power in cannabis retail in Ontario, » Lepine told a legislative committee looking at the bill last week.

He said the government should not give large producers an advantage that will allow them to dominate the retail side and shut out small businesses. 

Lepine cautioned the government against allowing what he called « a Beer Store model » — giving the big breweries control of retail and limiting craft breweries’ ability to reach customers — to take shape in the cannabis industry. 

Bret Mitchell, president and CEO of the Nova Scotia Liquor Corp., gives a preview of the cannabis section of one of its stores in Halifax. (Aly Thomson/THE CANADIAN PRESS)

One of the world’s largest producers of medical marijuana and the pot retailer that it partially owns are urging the government to do the exact opposite of what Lepine suggested. 

Aurora Cannabis has three pot production facilities in Ontario and will provide recreational supply to the Ontario Cannabis Store. The company also owns 25 per cent of Alcanna, one of North America’s largest alcohol retailers, now about to become a cannabis retailer: Alcanna owns five pot shops granted interim licences in Alberta as legalization begins. 

They fear that Alcanna will be shut out of Ontario by the proposal to limit licensed marijuana producers and their affiliates to just one pot shop at the producer’s facility. 

« Creating a retail system designed exclusively for small independent operators risks being a recipe for failure in the face of what we expect to be fierce competition from organized crime in the black market, » Alcanna’s senior vice president David Crapper told the committee hearing this week. 

« We are concerned that an overly narrow definition of ‘affiliate’ will eliminate several innovative and forward-looking retail partnerships from the Ontario market, including the one that exists between Aurora and Alcanna, » said Andrea Paine, Aurora’s national director of government relations. 

Paine is urging the government to allow producers who have multiple facilities to have multiple retail licences. She is also raising a red flag about municipalities’ powers to opt out of pot shops. 

« If the city of Markham opts out, we may not be able to operate our store at our Markham facility, » said Paine.

More than two dozen witnesses made presentations to the committee considering the bill during two days of hearings. 

Convenience store owners are concerned the government will design regulations that will stop them from moving into the retail pot market. 

« Please do not set a minimum size limit on a cannabis store, » said Steve Tennant, chief operating officer of Gateway Convenience Stores, at the committee hearing. « We do not want to be excluded from the option of selling cannabis simply because of the size of our store. »

« I don’t think you need to fear licensed producers taking over the industry, » said Terry Lake, vice president of corporate social responsibility for Hexo Corp. — a licensed producer of medical cannabis, currently operating in Quebec, poised to open a warehouse in Belleville.

« You can put restrictions on ownership, as Alberta has, » said Lake. Alberta is limiting each company to 15 per cent of the province’s retail cannabis licences. 

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Calgary pot shops waiting for approvals concerned over ‘disadvantages’ – Calgary

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Marijuana legalization is days away, but Calgarians with high expectations around retail options might need to chill out.

Alberta Liquor, Gaming and Cannabis has given permission to 17 pot shops in the province to open their doors on Oct. 17; Calgary has two.

“There are still some additional requirements that these stores must fulfill before they will obtain their full licence for the retail of cannabis,” AGLC cannabis inspections senior manager Tom Siewert said. “So we’re working with each one of those interim licensees.”

In Calgary, pot shop locations and business licences are awarded by the city, but the final approval to sell as well as the physical marijuana product comes from the province.


WATCH:
Only 2 Calgary stores receive AGLC approval to sell legal marijuana

Now, more than 100 city-approved pot shops in Calgary are patiently waiting for that final step.

Canna Cabana, formerly known as Smokers’ Corner, hopes to be up and running in a few weeks.

“We wanted to be open the 17, that was the goal,” Canna Cabana co-owner Lucas Klapper said. “Its a historic day for Canada and we wanted to be a part of that.”

Canna Cabana has approval from the city to open a store on 10 Street N.W., and the team was full steam ahead to be ready for an Oct. 17 opening, however, construction slowed and the inside of the shop is unfinished.

“A couple weeks ago… we were told that things are not lining up and a lot has to be done still in terms of inspections,” Klapper, said. “There’s a due diligence process [with] the AGLC that we still have to get done.”

According to the City of Calgary, of over 290 reviewed applications, 118 shops have been approved.

The AGLC said timing is behind the lack of provincially approved stores in Calgary. In comparison, Edmonton has six and Medicine Hat has three stores that will be selling on legalization day.

“A lot of it is up to the applicant themselves, and how quickly they construct and if what they have constructed for their premises meets our requirements,” Siewart said.

Those requirements include a due diligence review, physical inspections throughout construction and renovation as well as a final inspection when everything is finished.

Canna Cabana has more time to finish renovations and construction without rushing the Oct. 17 deadline, but the owners worry that may cost them.

“The disadvantage, obviously, is losing money, revenue, potential customers, potential revenue,” Klapper said. “We wanted to be open, we did, but it is what it is.”


READ MORE:
Marijua–nah, say Calgary universities to smoking pot on campus

However, the AGLC doesn’t share the concern.

“I believe the market is large enough that stores in different areas will have the same opportunity as the stores that are ready for the 17,” Siewart said.

The AGLC says inspections are ongoing and officials are working to get approved stores up and running as soon as possible. The AGLC has 64 inspectors visiting shops across the province.

It’s expected there will be more pot shops opening their doors later this month.

As for Canna Cabana, they’re hoping they’ll be able to open their doors in late-October or early-November.

“We’re going to be late, but better late than never,” Klapper said.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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