“Slightly spicy,” says one, before jotting down some notes and picking up another sample.

The first 10 licensed cannabis stores in Ontario — the government had hoped to have 25 selling by this date — will open for business on Monday. But just days before, Nova Cannabis, like many of them, still wasn’t quite ready for its big moment. 

It was only a few months ago, on Jan. 11, that a lottery system determined which retailers would be eligible to apply for a licence to sell cannabis in Ontario. And the application process is time-consuming. It includes, for example, finding a location that meets certain regulatory requirements, and informing the neighbourhood that you intend to set up shop. And of course, you can’t order any stock until the licence is approved. 

Nova Cannabis isn’t expected to open on Monday. While anxiously refreshing her email, owner Heather Conlon is trying to visualize what things will look like once her licence and first cannabis shipment finally arrives.

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