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Bluewater Joint opens Sarnia’s first legal cannabis store

Published on

Cathy Dobson

Sarnia has its first legal recreational cannabis store.

After waiting nearly eight months, Bluewater Joint at 940 Murphy Rd. passed a final inspection on Jan. 18 and its first customer placed an order just minutes later, said owner Ellie Plata.

Online orders and curbside pickup has been steady ever since, she says.

Plata and husband Dennis live in Oakville but have family in Sarnia and say they like the community. Those ties and a sense there’s “a good market” here prompted her to open Bluewater Joint.

The store offers 32 kinds of marijuana flower, as well as pre-rolls, vaporizers, concentrates, edibles, topicals, CBD and accessories.

Pre-rolls are the most the popular item in early sales and vary in size, price and level of CBD and THC.

For example, a 12-pack of pre-roll Amnesia Haze sells for $26.77, while a one-gram single roll Hawaii Heartbreak costs $12.17.

Many customers are curious about edibles, which were legalized in October 2019 in Canada, said Plata. For the first time, Sarnians have legal access to products such as Grape Oasis gummies that cost $8.40 for a four-pack, or a three-pack of CBD lavender chamomile tea selling for $18.59.

The store’s recreational cannabis is a safe alternative to the “grey” market, said Plata.

“You know what you’re getting when you buy from us,” she said. “The legal market is quality controlled with strict regulations about how it’s produced and packaged.”

The top question people ask online is whether they can enter the shop. The answer is no, because of pandemic restrictions. For now, ordering is strictly online with curbside pickup, usually within about 10 minutes.

When COVID-19 restrictions are lifted and customers can enter the store they’ll find it dominated by a large wall mural by Hamilton artist Rich Mace. It depicts the Blue Water Bridge, a train, the Valley, and the old Colborne Hotel in downtown Sarnia, which Plata’s relatives owned at one time.

Like hundreds of other hopefuls in Ontario, she applied for a licence last year after the province cancelled a controversial lottery system and opened the market up to anyone interested in going through the expensive and lengthy approval process.

Sarnia has 12 other applicants waiting in the queue for consideration by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario.

Bluewater Joint isn’t Plata’s only cannabis store. She opened one in Ancaster last February and plans to open a third in Simcoe next month.

She is still hiring full and part-time sales associates for the Sarnia store. Applicants require a police check and CannSell certification.

Bluewater Joint is in the Wiltshire Plaza on Murphy Road. It is open 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. Monday to Saturday, and 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. Sundays. Visit for a full list of products and online ordering, or call 226-89JOINT.

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