Article by Jacquie Miller, Ottawa Citizen
Two winners of Ontario’s latest cannabis shop lottery want to ditch their suburban Ottawa locations and open stores in Hintonburg and the ByWard Market instead.
The location changes haven’t been approved yet by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario, said a spokesperson for the agency that regulates the privately owned cannabis shops.
However, there’s already a notice up on an empty Wellington Street West storefront in Hintonburg and a website promising that High Flight, a “premium cannabis retail and education experience,” is coming soon. High Flight officials did not respond to a phone message or email on Wednesday. “Some want to get high, some want to get better, everyone wants to be well; let us guide you on your journey,” says the message on the website.
The lottery winner behind that location, Steven D. Cochrane, had initially planned a store for 1036 Montreal Rd., the former home of Tulip Furniture, between Shillington and Raven Avenues. The lottery rules allow winners to ask for a location change within the same region if there are “extenuating circumstances.”
Another winner, Aquanta Group Inc., had planned a store in Orléans at 470 Charlemagne Blvd. Aquanta has applied to switch the location to 121 Clarence St. in the ByWard Market, said the AGCO.
Plans are for another Hobo-branded store on Clarence Street. The B.C.-based Hobo Cannabis Co. chain, which already has a store on Bank Street near Gladstone, announced it had an arrangement with a lottery winner to open a second store.
The third lottery winner, Ethan Stark, has listed a location at 4335 Strandherd Drive in Barrhaven for a shop.
Winners have the right to apply for a licence but their applications must still be approved by the AGCO.