Despite being heralded as a mecca for marijuana lovers, there aren't many spaces truly devoted to cannabis in Montreal.
Sure, there are more than a few head shops and unofficial zones for smoking weed (e.g. Tams) but aside from Santé-Cannabis and le Centre Compassion de Montréal, there aren't any stores that cater to those who can legally smoke marijuana in our fair city.
Don Briere, a successful marijuana entrepreneur-of-sorts, seeks to change that.
Head honcho of Weeds Glass & Gifts, a marijuana-centric franchise that already has multiple stores in B.C. and Ontario, Briere is expanding his existing franchise right into the heart of downtown Montreal, reports La Presse.
And we won't have to wait very long, either. According to La Presse, Briere is already set to open his store. A location has been chosen and all that needs to be done is a few renovations and actually sign the lease.
Briere believes the first Montreal Weeds Glass & Gifts storefront will open by the end of the month, latest. No specific location was revealed, other than the general Downtown Montreal area.
A devote cannabis activist (obviously), Briere's stores have come under fire for selling marijuana even to those who don't have a medical license. Some might see that as a boon, others, not so much.
In Briere's mind, he isn't doing anything wrong, since the Canadian government has already stated that marijuana will be legalized. With that as justification, Briere has and will fight any and all legal actions that are taken against him and his business.
If anything, Briere thinks that if he/his store is reprimanded for selling marijuana, then it's all a waste of time. His stores fuel the economy (all sales and employee salaries are taxed) so any legal action taken would be a waste of time and money, as Briere put its.
Whether Montreal's Weeds Glass & Gifts will operate as a very loosely controlled dispensary remains to be seen, but critics in Montreal have already decried Briere's methods and attitudes.
l'Association industrielle canadienne du cannabis médical believes Briere's store is straight up illegal, and dangerous for consumers, since there's little done to ensure the cannabis sold meets specific standards outlined by the organization.
Still, we can't help but celebrate the fact that marijuana is moving out from the shadows of Montreal and into a legit storefront. Montreal is very much a marijuana city, and now that cannabis is government-approved, I think it's okay to recognize marijuana's place in the culture of the metropolis.