Cannabis retailers are gearing up to launch the next slate of legal weed storefronts in Ottawa as the Ontario government lifts a cap on the availability of retail licences across the province.
Meanwhile, Ontario’s designated wholesaler is opening up a wider variety of products that can be sold on store shelves.
Monday marks the first day prospective retailers can freely apply for a licence to operate a cannabis storefront in Ontario. Previously, pot storefronts could only operated by the lucky winners of 75 licences in the province’s lottery system, which the Progressive Conservative government previously pledged to scrap in 2020.
Among those vying to build out Ottawa’s supply of pot shops is Tokyo Smoke, a brand run by Smiths Falls-based cannabis company Canopy Growth. A Tokyo Smoke outlet is planned for 1000 Wellington St. W. in Hintonburg, in the same complex as the Les Moulins La Fayette bakery and the Trove Fashion boutique.
Another operator with plans to add more storefronts in Ottawa is Hobo Recreational Cannabis, which already operates a shop at 391 Bank St. Hobo said Monday it will run two more stores in Ottawa, one at 121 Clarence St. in the ByWard Market and the other at 1642 Merivale Rd. in Nepean.
Both the Tokyo Smoke and Hobo outlets will be run through deals struck with winners from the second stage of the licence lottery held this past summer. Applications through the new open system will be approved starting in March.
Edibles, beverages and other related products on sale now
Monday will also see the latest generation of cannabis products will be available for legal sale in Ontario.
The Ontario Cannabis Store is releasing 59 new products, including edibles, beverages, lotions and concentrates.
The products will be available on the shelves of physical retail stores starting Monday. The OCS says these products will be available on its website “as early as” Jan. 16.
But the OCS, Ontario's pot distributor, warns that supplies are tight and some of the products could sell out quickly.
It says it will work to replenish supplies quickly and hopes to roll out more products in the coming months.
Prices for legally sold edibles will range from $7 to $14, beverages are set to cost between $4 and $10, and vapes will be priced anywhere from $25 to $125.
– With files from Canadian Press