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Businesses responding to pot legalization

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OWEN SOUND

An Owen Sound head shop manager thinks many pot users may start to grow their own weed but he doubts the legalization of marijuana will create a slew of new pot-smoking customers.
In anticipation of the national legalization of recreational cannabis, effective Wednesday, Medusa 420, a head shop on 10th Street West, recently began to stock indoor marijuana grow tents.
Business may be up a little but he said legalization is unlikely to make a big difference concerning how many use recreational marijuana.
“I don’t think because they’re legalizing that people are going to start smoking it. There might be the odd one,” shop manager Gary McMillan said. “Anybody (who) say was scared to come in here before, they might come in now.
“But it’s not really going to make them start smoking pot and want to come in. Like they were probably already smoking it and they had a friend come in for them before.”
The shop contains colourful bongs and pipes, posters of Bob Marley, vapourizers and grinders and a black, soft-sided grow tent about the size of a shower stall, which costs $1,250 and includes all you need but the seeds to grow weed.
“So a lot of people, that’s probably the route they’re going to go,” said McMillan, the manager for about four years. “It’s safer. You know what’s going into your medicine or your recreational pot.”
He’s been getting a lot of inquiries about indoor growing equipment, he said. He said the best-selling item in the store is the vapourizer, which uses steam to extract the active ingredients in pot.
People aged 50-plus who already have licences to use marijuana medicinally comprise about 30 per cent of the store’s business and they use vapourizers to “vape” the pot, instead of smoking it through combustion, McMillan said.
They come in saying they know nothing about using pot but their doctor just prescribed it. They come from Tobermory to Kincardine and parts between, he said.
Cody Coulson is a local entrepreneur who founded Stop & Smell the Roses, a medicinal industrial hemp products business with locations in Owen Sound (on 10th Street West), Orangeville, Port Elgin and Hanover. The hemp used contains CBD, which is used for pain relief, but not in the concentrations found in cannabis.
He hopes to sell recreational marijuana in those stores, not necessarily in their current locations, with the blessings of the municipalities first, Coulson said in a phone interview Monday. So far he’s had closed-door municipal meetings.
“Early 2019 we hope to have all the talks with the municipalities — make sure they’re OK with us. Talk with the actual town and the people living in it to see where they would like us located and stuff like that, and hopefully apply for the licence,” Coulson said.
Those stores would also sell as a dry herb, concentrate and edible marijuana, depending on what the federal government allows, he said.
He’s also involved with Coulson Cannabis, which he estimated is about two months away from getting a marijuana production licence, he said.
He has no plans to produce marijuana but needs the licence to extract oils from the cannabis plant at a facility just outside Port Elgin. The concentrate will be sold to licenced producers and the government for its retail sales.
Coulson would be the first marijuana extraction company in Canada not also involved in marijuana production, he said. He said a job fair to be held at The Plex in Port Elgin soon, which will advertise hiring of more than 100 people. The date isn’t set.
Legalization of recreational pot presents big business opportunities, he said.
“I think it’s going to be a massive opportunity for small businesses and large corporations to compete. And with that competition is going to create better product for the consumers. So I’m really excited to see it happen.”
As of Wednesday, Ontarians 19 or older may possess 30 grams of legal cannabis dried, or its equivalent in non-dried form. It will be legal to share it with other adults, to buy fresh cannabis and cannabis oil from a provincially licensed producer.
It will also be legal to grow four cannabis plants per residence for personal use from a licensed seed or seedling.
There are tough new laws including two new criminal offences for giving or selling cannabis to a young person or using a youth to “commit a cannabis-related offence.”

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