SAULT STE. MARIE — Sessions Cannabis is looking to open a cannabis retail store in Sault Ste. Marie as part of the company’s larger goal of establishing 30 stores across Ontario this year.
The proposed location at 216 Second Line West could be open as early as this summer, pending approval from the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO).
Sessions Cannabis President and Co-Founder Steven Fry says his company has partnered with two local residents, but won’t name them publicly just yet.
“I’ve got some very close and dear friends in the area. We partnered with a couple really prominent business people in the area,” Fry told SooToday. “I think the Sault has been an underlooked market, and we’re excited to bring a reliable, socially responsible store to the area.”
“It’s a great opportunity. I think the customers will embrace us, and I think we have a good demographic of folks who consume cannabis in the area.”
Sessions Cannabis is headquartered in Binbrook Ont. and currently operates cannabis retail stores in Toronto and Collingwood, where it opened the area’s first pot store in December 2019. It’s now looking to expand its footprint in northern Ontario with stores in Elliot Lake and other areas of the north as part of the planned province-wide expansion.
“Sessions retail stores are designed as open-concept environments where customers can comfortably browse some of the industry’s most reputable and popular cannabis brands,” reads a news release from Sessions Cannabis. “Sessions staff, aptly referred to as budtenders, are available to provide a wealth of information to help consumers discover exactly what they are looking for.”
It’s expected the proposed location in Sault Ste. Marie will directly employ between 10 and 15 people, with some spin-off jobs anticipated.
“Our entire brand is all about supporting local - supporting local people, hiring locally. We hired a local design firm, we’ll look for local sign companies,” Fry said.
Sessions Cannabis has already secured its retail operator licence, and Fry tells SooToday that his company applied for its retail store authorization from AGCO a few weeks ago.
“I don’t suspect we’ll have a lot of opposition,” said Fry. “Lucky for us we’re an established operator - we’re not fly-by-night. We got folks on our executive team that come from the LCBO and cannabis stores, so we’re well-versed, we’re all about social responsibility.”
“I think the community will really embrace us and look for a good operator that can bring a really educational experience to the community.”
Sault Ste. Marie could potentially have three licenced cannabis retail stores in the near future - news of an AGCO application to open a cannabis retail store at 518 Great Northern Road from Cannabis Jack’s surfaced days after Hello Cannabis opened the doors to the city’s first cannabis retail store this past March.