THUNDER BAY — A Memorial Avenue strip mall is expected to host Thunder Bay's first retail cannabis store.
The owner of a building opposite Intercity Shopping Centre, on the west side of Memorial near the Dunlop Street intersection, confirms he has signed a lease with Tokyo Smoke for a space that's currently vacant.
The company has already established retail cannabis outlets in Toronto, Winnipeg and Brandon, Manitoba.
Tokyo Smoke officials have not announced their Thunder Bay opening date.
A source familiar with the situation said Thursday that the original goal was to open the store before year's end.
It's not clear, however, whether that is a realistic target.
The process laid out by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) involves numerous steps, including a public notice period.
Over the past year-and-a-half, four sites in Thunder Bay have been identified at various stages for a cannabis sales outlet.
Under the government of former Premier Kathleen Wynne, an Ontario Cannabis Store was to be established in a strip mall on the Harbour Expressway near Real Canadian Superstore.
Renovations to the building were already underway last year when Premier Doug Ford decided to drop the plan for government-run outlets and switch to privately-operated stores.
Subsequent to that, a location on Waterloo Street was picked by a party whose application through a lottery was ultimately rejected.
Tokyo Smoke – selected next by the AGCO – initially designated a Red River site for its store, but has now chosen 1082 Memorial Avenue instead.