Residents in the Windsor area who want to buy recreational marijuana in a retail brick and mortar store may be able to do that this fall.
The man who owns Windsor's first retail cannabis licence wants to open his shop in November.
Kirk Anastasiadis tells CTV News he is excited to be one of 42 applicants chosen last month by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario to open a retail cannabis store.
He is hoping to start renovating his new business at 545 Ouellette Ave. next week.
"Total gut other than, you actually need a vault for your inventory so the great thing is that there's a built-in vault already with high level security," says Anastasiadis of the location, the former home of Epilepsy Windsor-Essex County and Meridian Bank.
Anastasiadis is an entrepreneur who owns popular London restaurants Burger Burger, Mustang Sally's and the Barking Frog. His mother and grandparents are from Windsor, and he is excited about doing business in the Rose City.
"It's an attractive market," says Anastasiadis. “I've always liked the City of Windsor. I've spent a lot of time there."
Anastasiadis has a tentative store inspection scheduled for Nov. 1.
Windsor mayor Drew Dilkens tells CTV News they will keep a close eye on the operation once it opens.
"Undoubtedly based on what's happened in other locations, there's an unwanted element. The loitering and panhandling element that makes some people feel uneasy," admits Dilkens. "We'll be cautious about that and certainly want to make sure the right police resources are dedicated to the opening of that store to make sure public safety is considered."
Anastasiadis says he will do his part, by making sure his staff undergoes rigorous training.
"That's very important to make sure that the whole process for people doing this the first time makes them feel comfortable and something they want to do again."
The closest retail cannabis store is located in London.