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‘Attitudes are changing about cannabis and people are really understanding that this is not a bad thing,’ says company president

Barrie’s newest cannabis shop is open for business and company officials say it won’t be the last under the Star Buds banner for the city or region.

Star Buds Cannabis Co. opened its doors today at 10 a.m., with physical-distancing measures in place for anyone coming in.

Chris Jones, who is the president of an Ontario-based company that’s rolling out Star Buds-branded cannabis retail stores, said the 181 Livingstone St. E. store location has been in the works for months. 

Jones said he’s pleased to finally see it ready to open.

“We’re so excited to finally have the doors open, all the inventory lists up on the walls and the employees ready to go to work,” Jones said. 

At Friday’s VIP and media opening, Barrie-Springwater-Oro-Medonte MP Doug Shipley and MPP Doug Downey stopped in to say congratulations to the new establishment’s staff.

Shipley admitted that community cannabis shops are new to him, but he’s beginning to see many attitudes changing.

“It was hard for me to change my thinking when, for 52 years, something was illegal and now it is not. But looking at the store, I can see it is extremely professional and run by quality people,” said Shipley.

“I’m very happy that while some businesses are feeling the unfortunate crunch of COVID-19, we have a business here that is hiring people in our community.”

Four or five people will be working Barrie’s north-end location, but many more are being trained to work at the soon-to-be-opened shop at 500 Huronia Rd., in the city’s south end, as well as Bradford and Alliston sites.

Jones said there was only one complaint from a nearby resident, but the overall feedback was good.

“Attitudes are changing about cannabis and people are really understanding that this is not a bad thing,” Jones said. “Now that we’re open, I encourage people to come in and get a tour. We can help them have a better understanding of what we do and sell.”

Star Buds opens at 10 a.m. and will have free giveaways to celebrate the first day.

More information is available on their website.

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