The Week (US)
The tedium of endless weed stores
From the looks of my Toronto neighborhood, the pandemic has killed off nearly every business except for weed dispensaries, said Emma Teitel. While the economy as a whole languished during the year of lockdowns, the marijuana industry took off in Canada. In Ontario alone, 50 weed outlets are opening every month. As I walk down my block, I pass the following: “pot shop, empty shop, pot shop, empty shop, pot shop, empty pots (literally: a plant store went out of business).” It’s a jarring effect. The marijuana dispensaries are chic and modern; one even has “friendly Millennials standing outside all day handing out dog treats.”
The other storefronts are shabby and sad, boarded up and covered in graffiti. The only common denominator in the open and shuttered businesses
“is that it’s difficult to see inside them.” When Canada legalized recreational marijuana in 2018, the law stipulated that dispensaries must hide away their wares so as not to tempt abstainers. To keep in compliance, most of the shops are fronted in frosted or mirrored glass, or covered in posters, which leaves the street looking pretty bleak. “My 15-year-old self would kill me” for saying this, but I can only hope that the oversaturation of the market will cause some of these stores to fail.