Legal brick and mortar cannabis stores to open across Ontario Monday

Toronto's first legal pot shop is set to open its doors on Monday, with brick and mortar cannabis locations across the province allowed to begin operating as of April 1. 

However, so far it's only The Hunny Pot, a four-storey cannabis retailer at 202 Queen St. West, just west of University, that's confirmed ready to roll (no pun intended). 

The store's communications officer told NEWSTALK1010's media partner CP24 that they have a 50-person team on hand ready to help the public as soon as business begins Monday morning. 

“Our focus from the very beginning was to open on April 1 at 9 a.m. and we never wavered from that,” says Cameron Brown. “We knew that we wanted to be open to make that first sale and the fact that we are the first Toronto retailer to be open and to make that first sale in the biggest market in Canada."

And to mark the milestone, a cannabis lawyer's assistant has been sitting outside of the store since Friday afternoon, pitching a tent to comfortably be the first in line. 

The lawyer, Caryma Sa’d, told CP24 that this is "a historic moment.” 

The Hunny Pot Cannabis Co., The Niagara Herbalist in St. Catharines and Central Cannabis in London are the three companies that received retail licences from the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) earlier in March. 

Licences were granted following a lottery for expressions of interest back on January 11. More than 17,000 parties competed for a total of just 25 spots across the province - five in the eastern regions, seven in the west, two in the north, six in the GTA and five in Toronto proper.

Officials with the AGCO have stated that all stores in the province must be ready to open their doors April 1, 2019, or risk being fined by the provincial government. However, a recent graphic posted on their website states that store openings "will begin as ready" as of April 1. 

- With files from CP24