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Head Shops In Canada Left Behind By Cannabis Legalization Worry For Their Future

It’s been tough in the current climate

Fred Pattison’s head shop on Calgary’s 17 Ave. S.E. is stacked to the ceiling with pipes and bongs.

The clean, spacious store has blue-trimmed white walls and a kitschy mural of the city with a Canadian flag behind one of the display cases.

It could be a cannabis lover’s dream, except for one problem: He’s not allowed to sell cannabis.

“With every second customer, it’s a walkout, because we don’t have cannabis,” he said.

Retailers who can sell legal pot, meanwhile, are allowed to stock all the same merchandise he sells.

Pattison says this is unfair and it’s killing his business.

“That doesn’t really make sense, how if I got the licence to open a cannabis store, I can add accessories to my cannabis store. But if I already own an accessory store, I can’t add cannabis to that,” Pattison said.

In the last year and a half, Pattison said he has cut seven of the 13 employees at his three The Next Level stores, and he blames the loss of income squarely on dispensaries.


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CHAMPS Smoke Shop Report, or ‘CSS’, online source for the updates and innovations on the smoke shop scene. News and information are geared strictly to accessories retail channels, with distribution limited to retailers that Smoke Shop products and wholesalers.

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