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ByWard Market pot shop name game resolved

Complaints were made against one of the first legal shops in Ottawa for their proposed name.

A downtown pot shop will not be called ByWard Market Cannabis, after complaints were made about the name. 

The shop will now be called Fire & Flower York Street Cannabis. 

Earlier this month, a group which manages Ottawa's ByWard and Parkdale markets, Ottawa Markets, wrote a letter complaining about the original name. It wanted the ByWard Market to be known for its rich history and family-friendly activities, not for a pot shop. 

Owner of the incoming cannabis store Michael Patterson said he and his business partner, Eric Lavoie, were more than happy to make the change. 

"At the end of the day, we thought it was more important to have a working relationship with the community than trying to stick with our original name," Patterson explained. "Ultimately it will be our customer service and education based sales that will impress our customers, not the name on the front of our store." 

But before they could make the change, Patterson said that they needed approval from the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO). 

"As far as the naming went, the rules with the AGCO for getting licenced would not have allowed us to use the Fire & Flower name because we are a separate entity [from the Alberta-based cannabis corporation], we are not Fire & Flower," added Patterson. 

He said that ever since being chosen in the AGCO pot licence lottery, those at bhis company have been getting advice from Fire & Flower. Once they got permission from the AGCO for the new name, they simply needed to run the idea by the Alberta-based company. 

"Our decision to go with them, stemmed from [them being] the only player in the cannabis industry that had contacted us and said, 'How can we help? What would you need from us to be able to succeed?' As opposed to other companies that were trying to pitch us to explain why we needed them," explained Patterson. 

In the end, Fire & Flower agreed to the name change. 

Legal pot shops will open in Ottawa on April 1. 

Other than the shop on York Street, another will be located at 391 Bank Street and a third shop will open at 1306 Wellington Street West. 


Jenn Pritchard

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