Hobo Cannabis Company to open 10 stores in Toronto

The dispensary chain wants to open locations in Parkdale, the Church-Wellesley Village and Bloorcourt

Hobo dispensary in Kitsilano

The Hobo Cannabis Company shop in the Vancouver neighbourhood of Kitsilano in 2019.

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The dispensary chain Hobo Cannabis Company plans to open 10 new stores in Toronto, including Parkdale, Dundas and Ossington, the Church-Wellesley Village and Bloorcourt.

Announced on February 25, the stores are a part of a larger push into the Ontario market. Hobo currently has four locations in Vancouver and one in Kelowna, British Columbia. 

Hobo is owned by the Vancouver-based hospitality chain the Donnelly Group, which operates pubs, cocktail bars, barbershops and restaurants in Vancouver and Toronto.

In an email to CannCentral, Harrison Stoker, the vice president of brand at the Donnelly Group, said Hobo will be applying for retail store authorization for their Toronto locations on March 2 through the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO).

In December 2019, the Ontario government announced it would be scraping the lottery system to award licenses in favour of an open-market system. As of March 2, the government revoked the restriction on the total number of store authorizations. Licensed producers can also apply to open retail stores at their production facilities.

The cannabis chain has faced criticism for naming its company after an insensitive term associated with homeless people.

In a statement to Business Vancouver last spring Stoker said, “the term ‘hobo’ dates back to the 1920s, and describes a travelling worker.

“The word evokes a sense of wanderlust, and implies a passion for the journey over the actual, final destination,” he added. “The team behind [Hobo] fell in love with the idea of a journey, in the context of cannabis, having both literal and figurative meaning, i.e.: the journey might embark on in their own mind while imbibing.”

The store locations still need to undergo the 15-day public notice period through the AGCO.

The full list of proposed locations are listed below:

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