Recent passers-by of the former Mayflower building at 48 Bay Street, Barry’s Bay (pictured above) will have noticed evidence of changes taking place. This is because of renovations to turn the building into what will be the Bay’s first pot shop. Valley resident Mike Klobouk formed a company a year ago which has been granted a Cannabis Retail Operator licence by the province. All that now remains is to get the store authorized as complying with site regulations which include distance from schools, surveillance and alarm systems, and ensuring that the interior of the store cannot be seen from the outside.
Klobouk told The Current that so far progress has not been delayed by the pandemic, apart from some deliveries of construction materials. The renovations at the front of the building are extensive because he is installing a wheelchair ramp and automatic doors to make the building fully accessible. Klobouk still hopes that the store, to be called BayBud Cannabis, will open in early July and he expects that he will soon advertise for staff. He has already received his manager’s licence. To be eligible to work there, employees must be older than 19, will have to pass a police background check and must have the CanSell qualification. “Those are the basics. People who are interested in applying will need to educate the customers. I want to be able to distribute information about consumption and the different aspects of the products, CBD vs. THC and so on. The educational component is going to be very important as far as running the store,” said Klobouk.
He was asked about local competition, especially that provided at Golden Lake on the Pikwàkanagàn reserve. He responded by saying, “The main thing is that the products I’ll be selling have been tested and authorized by the government. I really don’t know what kind of testing the products at Golden Lake are subjected to.” Under the terms of his licence, he is allowed to sell only products that are available from the Ontario Cannabis Store (OCS) which means that they are subject to stringent tests to ensure there are no contaminants or fungus, etc.
Klobouk asked The Current to emphasize to readers that BayBud Cannabis will take every step to ensure that it complies with all laws and regulations. He added that, contrary to some rumours, it is just going to be a legal pot shop, not a grow op.
Mike’s wife, Diane, was a teacher until her retirement in 2017. Mike previously operated his own software engineering consultancy.
Readers can follow the company’s progress on their website www.BayBud.ca and can contact them by email at info@BayBud.ca