The government just did a lottery for Cannabis Dispensaries in the city and this time around Hamilton won three locations. Burlington got another two and the rest were spread across the province. The interesting thing to me were the locations that won, and even more interesting were the locations that did not win. Full disclosure I myself entered the lottery and came out just about two thousand spots behind the winners but going through all the locations, talking with landlords and real estate agents, I got a pretty inside view of the current and future landscape of dispensaries in our city.
The three winning locations are literally around the outer edges of the city. The first one is going to be located at the very top of Ancaster which at first glance seems a little out of the way but Brantford may drive in since it will be closer than going all the way to London for the next location. The second one is at the top of Upper James right by the Beer Store and personally I think it is also a little out of the way but being on Upper James — if done right — it can easily be the top location in the city. The third one is again on the outer edges of the city in Stoney Creek at Fifty Point so they have the whole east end covered if you do not mind driving all that way. Add in the Dundas location and the Center Mall location the whole outer edge of the city is covered with dispensaries. The only glaring hole left without a location is obviously downtown but it is a short drive to Dundas or Center Mall.
The locations that did not win were varied and sometimes puzzling. There were four different locations on Ottawa Street just a stone’s throw from the Center Mall location as well as four more in Dundas around the corner from the first Dundas location. There were probably twenty or more locations downtown that did not win and they covered the whole downtown and any one of them would have been a great location. Upper Ottawa had ten plus locations that would have also worked but again they did not win. We now have five locations that will serve the city well and hopefully they will release another lottery that will bring a downtown location since we had over a hundred applications out of the four thousand plus applications throughout Ontario.
One location that won had over thirty applications at that location but the most interesting winner was the first person drawn,who won in Burlington, that had a second winner on the waiting list at the same location. Another winner in the area had multiple applications at the same location which may be the way to win by making multiple applications per location. V
Darrin DeRoches is a local real estate and mortgage broker. He can be reached to answer questions, comments or stories about real estate experiences through this weekly column at firstname.lastname@example.org.