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Aamjiwnaang orders tobacco, cannabis shops to close

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Tara Jeffrey

Tobacco and cannabis retail shops at Aamjiwnaang First Nation have been asked to close by midnight, Tuesday, in an effort to curb the spread of COVID-19 and reduce traffic on the reserve.

“We got a letter asking us to close,” said Blazing Budz retail store owner Al Rogers, referring to the notice from Aamjiwnaang Band Council, issued Monday, which states that ‘No tobacco or cannabis related retail shops are permitted to operate.’

“We are asking for compliance from all the entrepreneurs in the community to do your part in restricting the amount of traffic in our community during this time,” the Band stated, adding that affected businesses are asking to close by 11:59 p.m. Tuesday.

Rogers said customers flocked to the River Road shop Monday, after the notice was issued.

“We had a crazy day; I think it’s going to be even worse today,” he said Tuesday, pointing to more than 300 customers Monday, compared to the average of around 170 per day. “You’d think there was a global shortage of flour or something.”

Rogers said he has no complaints about the order, and just wants to help keep the community safe.

As of Tuesday, Sarnia-Lambton’s confirmed COVID-19 cases had jumped from 28 to 39 overnight.

“In the beginning, a lot of people were just playing it off, when we had no cases… but people are really starting to getting sick now.

“I want to do what I can to help the community, rather than contribute to spreading it.
“Hopefully everybody can follow suit.”

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