Pubdate: Thu, 04 Nov 2010
Source: Simcoe Reformer, The (CN ON)
Copyright: 2010 Sun Media
Author: Daniel Pearce
Bookmark: (Marijuana - Medicinal - Canada)


A medical marijuana store has come to downtown Simcoe.

Owners of the business, known as Twisted Ends, say they won't sell
"product" from the Kent Street South storefront.

Instead, they will act as a middleman and connect people who have a
prescription from their doctor to consume pot (it helps sufferers of
ailments such as arthritis and multiple sclerosis) with people who
have a Health Canada licence to grow it.

The traffic that comes through their doors, said James Smith, will
then be drawn to what the store sells: bongs, pipes, and rolling
papers, items he refers to as "medical supplies."

"I'm not looking to be a big drug dealer here, it's just a hobby," he

"There will never, ever be product in this location," Smith said,
adding his daughter, Breanna Willbanks, will run the store.

Twisted Ends, he said, will also provide forms for people to take to
their doctor to get a licence.

Smith said he is in the process of getting a licence to grow pot and
will join a "co-op" of four people who jointly produce medical
marijuana in Norfolk County.

The co-op, he added, will operate as a non-profit business with the
product being sold at cost. Any extra profits, he said, will be
divided evenly among the clients.

"This is a helping hand for people who don't know where to turn,"
Smith said of the store.

Twisted Ends comes on the heels of a similar store that opened in
Delhi earlier this year amid controversy and later closed.

It takes up a space on Kent Street South just off Robinson Street that
has basically been empty for the past year.

Larry Dawson, executive director of the Downtown Simcoe BIA, said he
has received no comments, positive or negative, from members about the
store, which opened earlier this week.

"I'm not 100% sure this is exactly what we want to have, but it's
there and we'll see if it's successful," said Dawson, noting the
business is "legitimate."

Downtown baker Clive Eynon, whose shop shares a back alley with the
business, said he is "concerned" about the operation.

"I wish any new business in the core to do well, but I don't know if a
marijuana operation is the right fit for the downtown core," Eynon

Smith said he feels the public, especially the "older generation,"
would be more accepting of his operation if they understood the
benefits of medical marijuana better.

"There are ways to control pain without smoking a joint," he said.
Alternatives include using vaporizers, drinking it as tea, and putting
it into food.

Asked what he does for a living, Smith replied: "I don't do anything
for a living . . . I'm a caregiver. I have a hobby now."
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