Article by David George-Cosh, BNN Bloomberg
The world’s biggest pot company is planning to set up shop on Toronto’s Mink Mile.
A spokesperson from Canopy Growth Corp. confirmed to BNN Bloomberg that the pot giant is in advanced negotiations with a cannabis retail licence applicant to open a Tokyo Smoke store at One Bloor Street East, located at one of the busiest intersections in the country.
“We have ambitious retail plans across the country that we’re actively pursuing,” the Canopy spokesperson told BNN Bloomberg in an email.
An updated list from the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario, the provincial regulator in charge of issuing cannabis retail licences, shows that 11180673 Canada Inc. changed its proposed store location to One Bloor Street East late Thursday.
The location is a substantial step up from the numbered company’s previous proposed site at 104 Harbord St., which infamously housed an illicitly-operated cannabis dispensary that Toronto police have attempted to shut down several times with little success.
Rob Heydon, sole director of the numbered company that won the opportunity to apply for a highly-coveted Ontario cannabis retail store licence during a lottery in August, wasn’t available for comment.
If Canopy Growth does open a Tokyo Smoke store at One Bloor Street East, it will have to spend heavily to do so.
Toronto’s Bloor-Yorkville area is one of the most expensive retail corridors in North America, according to a recent report by Jones Lang LaSalle Inc. The average prime lease rate along Bloor Street is US$325 per square foot, higher than similar prestigious locations in Miami; Boston; Washington, D.C. and Vancouver, the report found.
However, opening a Tokyo Smoke in one of Toronto’s most high-profile neighbourhoods — next to luxury retailers such as Nordstrom, Chanel and Louis Vuitton – also falls in line with Canopy Growth’s strategy of placing its retail brand in prominent locations. The other Tokyo Smoke location in Toronto that is licensed to sell cannabis is situated at the site of a former HMV music store at Yonge and Dundas, another high-traffic intersection in the city.