Cannabis at the Christmas parade? Merchants ask the SQDC to close
With the annual Santa Claus parade taking place in two weeks, the merchants’ association that operates in Montreal's downtown core is asking for an adults-only store to close.
Destination Centreville is concerned that parade watchers will have to fight for sidewalk space with people lining up to make their way into the SQDC outlet on Ste. Catherine St. to buy marijuana.
It is asking the store to remain closed while the parade is taking place, and only open its doors after 1 p.m. so that children will not be exposed to marijuana smoke.
Andre Poulin, general manager of the merchants' group, said that because cannabis is a restricted substance that is off-limits to children, having the store open during a family-oriented parade doesn't make sense.
"It doesn't work. It's why we asked to [solve] the situation. It's a one-day event for the family and the kids, so I think this store will need to co-operate to help to have a good event for everybody," said Poulin.
Destination Centreville estimates about 300,000 people will watch the parade on Nov. 17.
The SQDC said it only became aware of the request when journalists began asking questions on Friday.
Managers said they are willing to work with other groups to be a "good neighbour" but had not yet decided on the request to close.
Nearby businesses said the continuing lineups outside the downtown pot shop are beginning to take a toll.
“Honestly it's horrible,” said Milad Aina, manager of Moore’s clothing store. “It's causing kind of a havoc for clients to come in the store because they're blocking the entry and people who do pass they won’t even see that there’s an actual clothing store because all our mannequins are covered with people.”