Article by Jacquie Miller, Ottawa Citizen
A proposed cannabis store on Wellington Street West has switched names and now plans to open under the Tokyo Smoke brand.
Tokyo Smoke, owned by Canopy Growth in Smiths Falls, is a fast-growing retail chain across Canada.
The change in plans for the store at 1000 Wellington St. W. in Hintonburg is typical of the deal-making going on with winners of a lottery held to award the rights to apply for coveted cannabis store licences in Ontario.
Lottery winner Steven D. Cochrane initially planned to open a store on Merivale Road, then ditched that location in favour of Wellington Street West near Irving Avenue. In October, a sign on the storefront said a store called “High Flight” would open soon.
Now there’s a notice posted on the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario website saying the location will be a Tokyo Smoke store. The AGCO will accept comments from Ottawa residents until Dec. 18.
Three cannabis stores are already open in Ottawa: Superette on Wellington Street West; Hobo on Bank Street; and Fire & Flower on York Street.
Another four stores, including Tokyo Smoke, are planned by winners of the latest lottery. Two stores have gone through public consultation and are waiting for licences: One Plant on Strandherd Drive in Barrhaven; and ABC Cannabis at 1642 Merivale Rd. The other proposed store, at 121 Clarence St. in the ByWard Market, has not gone for public comment yet. Hobo Cannabis, a chain based in B.C., had announced the Clarence Street store would be another Hobo outlet, but the AGCO does not list a name yet for the store.
Provincial rules restrict cannabis growers like Canopy Growth from owning retail store chains in Ontario. However, Canopy-owned Tokyo Smoke has made licensing agreements with lottery winners, who can use the name, but must operate the stores themselves. Tokyo Smoke stores are already open on Yonge Street in Toronto and in Oshawa. Another eight Tokyo Smoke stores, including the one on Wellington Street, are proposed across Ontario and are in the public comment stage.