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No physical store, no problem, says government pot regulator

Instead of a government-run storefront merchandising plan the new policy will rely on private enterprise to sell to what’s expected to be a huge marketplace.


The one store approach had been criticized in any case because it would have woefully underserved the local market, though more outlets would have been rolled out in later years.


Instead, the new government’s private model will see bricks and mortar outlets open April 1 instead.


Windsor and Essex County still doesn’t know how many stores will open locally though the new government will release details as it continues to formulate the private retail sales strategy.


Where does that leave the Liberal government’s Ontario Cannabis Store, overseen by the LCBO?


It still exists and is very much in the cannabis sales game, and it will still be serving the public when sales begin Oct. 17, only that it will operate the online sales website through which shoppers can place marijuana orders.


“The Ontario Cannabis Store welcomes the direction from the Ontario government to focus on launching our online retail store and begin establishing a wholesale distribution network to supply cannabis to legal private stores in Ontario once legislative requirements are put in place,” OCS president Patrick Ford says.


The new website will be run through Ottawa-based private retail portal Shopify.


“The site is complete and final testing is underway,” Ford said.


More details will be released soon, including about supply agreements and delivery methods.


What happens to any leases the OCS signed with local landlords for government-run physical stores that now will not be needed?


The OCS says these costs are “minimal” and that current leases “will be honoured and we are reassessing the plans for these locations.”


How about people hired to staff those locations?


Says the OCS, in response to questions from WON.com, “very few store-specific staff” had been hired and those that have are being reassigned “to new roles where their social responsibility and product knowledge training will be useful elsewhere in the organization, such as in online support.”


WindsorOntarioNews.com





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48-Hr FlickFest "Lockdown" ed online, awards tomorrow 

For the first time the Mark Boscariol 48-Hour FlickFest is now online. Two weeks ago, 32 teams of filmmakers quickly hustled and made short films with a 48-hour deadline. It’s an annual tradition of Windsor’s very popular fall film festival though usually seen during the fest itself. As of noon today all films were available on the WIFF YouTube channel. Organizers urge the public to watch them before a virtual awards ceremony tomorrow at 8 pm, which can be watched on the WIFF Facebook page. – 6/18/20

It's sort of like Jane Austen selling shoes at the local mall

If you like Jane Austen, have ever worked in retail, perhaps have a love for shoes, you might love Windsor-based author Heidi L. M. Jacobs’s book Molly of the Mall: Literary Lass and Purveyor of Fine Footwear. The book just won the 2020 Stephen Leacock Memorial Medal for Humour. While Jacobs is now an English and History Librarian at the University of Windsor the book is focused on her home town of Edmonton and a job she had at the gargantuan West Edmonton Mall while a university student in the 1990s. Publisher NuWeest Press's website says the book is named for “one of literature’s least romantic protagonists, Moll Flanders.” With Jane Austen influences, blogger Kerry Clare of Pickle Me This says of Jacobs, “Honestly, she came out of nowhere, the novel about a woman who is obsessed with 19th century literature..…I loved this book.” – 6/9/20

Canadians win against director of cult classic film 'The Room'

A cult hit of a film, The Room, which has been shown at the Windsor International Film Festival, was the subject of a victorious lawsuit by a group of Canadian filmmakers who had made a documentary about it. The Room, directed by Tommy Wiseau, was made in 2003 and is considered so bad it’s good and won the hearts and minds of a subculture of fans, who laugh, shout out lines from memory and even, at pivotal moments, throw spoons at the screen. Ironically, the Ottawa documentary filmmakers thought they were honoring Wiseau by making their film, called Room Full of Spoons. But Wiseau wanted creative control of the movie and threatened legal action, getting a temporary injunction against the doc’s screening. However, last week Ontario Superior Court Justice Paul Schabas ruled against Wiseau, saying his negotiations with the Canadian filmmakers were in “bad faith” and his behaviour “oppressive and outrageous.” The doc can now be shown at festivals and midnight screenings everywhere. – 5/13/20

New Detroit conductor sheltering in Toronto

Jader Bignamini, the Detroit symphony’s new conductor, is sheltering in Toronto during Covid-19. Bignamini, who replaced longtime maestro Leonard Slatkin, made his debut in January to great fanfare and has a six-year DSO contract.  The exuberant new music director decided to stay in Toronto because “it's a little safer here than Italy,” according to the Detroit Free Press. Bignamini was scheduled to make his Canadian Opera Company mainstage debut last month in Giuseppe Verdi’s Aida. His formal DSO appearance is expected in December with Beethoven’s 9th Symphony. – 5/5/20

Photo: DSO

Jewish film festival now postponed

As might be expected, the city’s oldest film festival, scheduled each spring, has been postponed for 2020. The 18th edition of the Ruth and Bernard Friedman Windsor Jewish Film Festival has been put on hold due to the coronavirus outbreak. Jay Katz, executive director of the Windsor Jewish Federation, said due to circumstances created by the pandemic, organizers don’t have a new date. “It’s not really possible to do much planning the way things are, Cineplex is closed, who knows what our horizon is,” he said. Devonshire Cineplex cinemas have traditionally been the site of the festival. Katz declined to announce any titles of the booked films because “that would ruin the suspense and we’ll make a big announcement when the time comes.” The festival shows 10 films over four days. It was scheduled to run Monday-Thursday April 27-30. The festival is the city’s oldest. By contrast the Windsor International Film Festival (WIFF), held in autumn, last year celebrated its 15th anniversary. – 4/3/20</i>

Theatres announce COVID-19 policies

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