Ottawa's first official marijuana brick-and-mortar store will open in an ideal location, according to Kitchissippi City Councillor Jeff Leiper.
Pure Alpha Holdings Ltd. was one of five Eastern Ontario winners in the licence lottery held by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario last month, and have applied to open a shop called "Superette" at 1306 Wellington Street West.
Leiper said the store is opening in an upscale, gentrified neighbourhood, and the location is a good distance from any schools, community centres or group homes.
He expects Superette could bring even more foot traffic to an already busy stretch of Wellington Street West, between Island Park Drive and Holland Avenue. It could also create traffic and parking issues in the neighbourhood.
"Certianly, in the first few months there is going to be a lot of curiosity," said Leiper. "It's going to be a novelty in the city, and so I expect it to draw a lot of people."
The councillor said he will work to ensure the business presents a "friendly face" to the community.
"My concern will be that people aren't loitering around the store, smoking, although I have no reason to think that will be the case," Leiper explained. "Otherwise, I'm just open to having discussions with [the business owners] so we can manage any problems that may arise."
As far as fears of the area potentially turning into a hub for pot-related businesses, Leiper said he doesn't see that happening, as retail space is at a premium in the Westboro, Wellington West and Hintonburg areas.
He added that it's going to be an interesting test case for the city, as the first legal cannabis store, and he invites residents to leave comments for the AGCO.