What to expect from brick and mortar cannabis shops in April
These are photographs of a Spiritleaf cannabis store in Calgary that is expected to open soon – just awaiting its licence. One image includes a picture of Gord Downey in a “lounge” at the store. The company had a deal with Up Cannabis, which is backed by The Tragically Hip. For 1129 stores TorSunWP
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Nearly six months after cannabis was legalized Oct. 17 by the federal government, Ontario prepares for the launch of marijuana sales in brick-and-mortar stores April 1.
Calgary-based Spiritleaf is one franchisee that plans on opening 40 locations throughout Ontario. Right now, they have four physical stores operating in Alberta and Saskatchewan.
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“We’re trailblazing and this is brand new for Canada and Ontario to have a regulated product in the hands of private entrepreneurs,” said Spiritleaf’s CEO Darren Bondar.
“There’s going to be all kinds of bumps and challenges … but you can’t touch, smell or feel online. Cannabis concierges can provide product knowledge and everything you’d want in a retail experience.”
These are photographs of a Spiritleaf cannabis store in Calgary that is expected to open soon â just awaiting its licence. One image includes a picture of Gord Downey in a “lounge” at the store. The company had a deal with Up Cannabis, which is backed by The Tragically Hip. TorSunWP
The Ontario Cannabis Store — which is government-run — provides the online platform for retail sales and also will be the wholesaler once private stores open.
Legal sales are expected to reach $4.9 billion by 2022, according to a recent report by U.S. cannabis research firm Arcview Market Research.
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Bondar said cannabis buyers used to seeing illegal dispensaries will get a more high-end experience with his shops, which are polished.
“Customers from all walks of life can come in and shop, enjoy and learn and be part of the new cannabis movement,” he said.
“I think the day of the illegal dispensary is probably over. Those who want to join the legal industry has taken steps to do so. The illegal ones aren’t going to last for much longer.”
Darren Bondar, CEO and founder of Spiritleaf poses in his southwest Calgary office on Wednesday, January 3, 2018. Bondar says the Calgary-based company has had great success in attracting entrepreneurs willing to put up a $25,000 franchise fee to operate a cannabis retailing store under the company’s name. (Jim Wells/Calgary Sun) Photo by Jim Wells / Jim Wells/Postmedia
He adds that he’s expecting a lot of competition from other brick-and-mortar cannabis stories opening this spring. But that’s part of the excitement.
“We have some unique collaborations, including Up Cannabis, the Tragically Hip’s brand they’ve invested in,” he said. “Customers will be able to hang out in our store, use our cannabis language. We’re providing education about Indigenous reconciliation.”
Second Cup, a Canadian Franchise Association member, is also carving out a spot for themselves with a plan to turn select franchises into cannabis retail stores beginning Apr. 1 with a partnership with National Access Cannabis Corp. under the brand banner Meta Cannabis Supply Co.
A flat white coffee at a Second Cup Coffee outlet in Toronto on December 4, 2014. Photo by Chris Young / THE CANADIAN PRESS
There are more than 130 Second Cup locations across Ontario, with a significant number of sites in high-traffic, densely populated municipalities, including Ottawa and Toronto. As more details become available through legislation, the companies will continue to assess locations for Ontario retail opportunities.
“Our strategic alliance with National Access Cannabis allows Second Cup to leverage our real estate assets to increase value for our franchisee partners and our shareholders while maintaining focus on our primary objective of being the specialty coffee brand of choice across Canada,” said Garry Macdonald, Second Cup’s President & CEO.
“NAC has developed a strong reputation as a leading operator in the cannabis industry and the opportunity to activate our partnership in Ontario, Second Cup’s largest region, is a strong growth opportunity for our two businesses.”
Nearly six months after cannabis was legalized Oct. 17 by the federal government, Ontario prepares for the launch of marijuana sales in brick-and-mortar stores…