Even though cannabis will be legal in a little over three weeks, local head shop owners do not think that legalisation will have a huge impact on their customer traffic.
A head shop is a store that sells smoking paraphernalia. The products sold include bongs, pipes and lighters. There are many head shops in London who have been open for years.
Owner of Your Highness, Amir Khan, suspects that regular cannabis smokers will not be affected by the legalisation and he predicts that the same number of customers will visit the story daily.
The issue that many head shops are seeing with legalisation has very little do to with the drug itself. The owners are mostly concerned about the government decision to make retail shops purchase their products through the Liquor Control Board of Ontario. This decision would be taking money out of locals hands, due to the taxing that would be required.
These shops have seen legal problems, because they have been operating in a legal grey zone. Their products are typically used to smoke cannabis, even though the drug is not legal yet.
Hi-Times owner, Mike Jain, says that his shop has had problems with the law since their opening.
“We had problems in 1996 for selling bongs. [The Police] came and raided our store and we had to fight to get everything back.”
October 17th is the date for the legal online sale of cannabis across Canada. Head shop owners believe that if they were also allowed to sell cannabis in April, when the retail stores will be opened, that more jobs can be created for locals.