The owner of a newly opened cannabis store in Riverside says that contrary to rampant rumors, he will not have a “consumer yard.”
When Alex Newman was originally planning the store in the 5500 block of Wyandotte Street East, he wanted to include a consumer area in the back, but “scrapped the idea,” he said Tuesday.
Those initial ideas appear to have ignited a flurry of rumors in the area, prompting Ward 6 Coun. Jo-Anne Gignac asked four weeks ago for a report from the administration on what powers the city has to control the establishment of consumer patios. She said that at the time the rumored consumer yard is of “great concern to residents who live near it.”
Newman is a longtime local cannabis activist who currently operates the Endless Heights store on University Avenue West and was once a co-owner of the Higher Limits cannabis lounge downtown prior to legalization. The new licensed cannabis store, within the boundaries of the Olde Riverside Business Improvement Association, will also be called Endless Heights.
While there are a few isolated examples of consumer patios in the province, current legislation essentially prevents it from opening one at the Riverside location, he said.
“No, it is not really possible in the current situation.”
He hopes to open the new store in the next few weeks.
“It will not just be a place to buy weed, it will be a destination,” Newman said.
He added that in the future, once the COVID-19 pandemic is over, he would like to explore the possibility of opening a “community cannabis space” somewhere local.