Montreal pot shop asked to delay opening for Santa Claus parade
Published Saturday, November 3, 2018 9:24AM EDT
Store owners along Montreal’s Santa Claus parade route are hoping for a Christmas spectacle with less green -- cannabis green, that is.
At least during the Nov. 17 parade itself, which runs right past an SQDC shop, the provincial marijuana retailer. Some local merchants are concerned that the sidewalks will become overcrowded and that kids could be exposed to cannabis smoke.
More than 300,000 people, many of them children, are expected to attend the Défilé du Père Noël, which will stretch for two kilometres along Saint Catherine St.
Local merchants have asked the cannabis shop, which opens at 10 a.m. on Saturdays, to push back its opening to 1:00 p.m.
“It’s a one-day event. It’s for the family and the kids,” Andre Poulin, executive director of Destination Centre-Ville, told CTV Montreal.
If the store opens later, kids are less likely to be exposed to marijuana smoke, he said, and there would be less crowding on sidewalks. There are still lengthy lineups stretching out of the cannabis shop, which neighbouring businesses said are causing problems.
“Honestly it’s horrible,” said Milad Aina, the store manager at the next-door men’s suit shop Moore’s. Aina claims the SQDC is causing “havoc” for customers entering the store. “They’re blocking the entry and people who do pass won’t even see that there’s an actual clothing store.”
The SQDC told CTV Montreal that they recently learned of the business association’s request and are willing to evaluate solutions, noting that it was too early to make a decision.
“I think the store will need to collaborate, to cooperate to help have a good event for everybody,” said Poulin.
With a report from CTV Montreal’s Matt Grillo