The time has finally here: Toronto’s stoner set no longer has to rely on snail mail or unreliable kid dealers to get their weed fix.
The first pot shop in Toronto officially opened for business just yesterday and 4 more will (hopefully) open their greenery-filled doors in the near future.
While 25 shops have been approved in Ontario, not all managed to complete the approval process in time for the April 1 date.
Taking over 4 floors is The Hunny Pot at 202 Queen West and they’re the first on the scene to open up shop. Sleek, stylish, and thoughtfully branded, the modern 3,500-square-foot open space is filled with crisp white walls, glass design elements throughout, skylights, clean product displays, and greenery.
Social media users who have visited the store have compared it to more of a “jewellery store” or “fashion boutique” than a pot shop. It’s designed to make cannabis shopping an educational and elevated experience — a far cry from most of the illegal dispensaries that have popped up and disappeared in Toronto in recent years.
Talking points include a golden blunt presented on the pedestal it deserves, a branded (and photo-worthy) wall of fake bud and 40(!!) different varieties of cannabis.
Whether you’re a seasoned smoker or a cannabis-curious newbie, if you’re looking for expert advice, you’ll find no shortage of it from the shops team of 50 trained experts, known as “Budtenders.” For those paranoid about using their name, you will have to give your ID and create a profile, but don’t need to include your real name — whether you opt for your initials, a nickname or alias.
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Down the street is Nova Cannabis at 499 Queen West. They’re also set to open up shop as soon as the paperwork is processed and red tape is waded through.
The brand currently has five locations in Alberta. Apparently, the Toronto location isn’t a franchise, and its owner, Heather Conlon, has total control of the look and feel of the store.
In Yorkville, Ameri will occupy real estate at 20 Cumberland St. in a narrow, three story building that was once home to another (illegal) dispensary. Canna Cabana is also set to take over the space at 435 Yonge Street.
Perhaps the most impressive spot will occupy the former HMV location at Yonge and Dundas. This spot will soon become home to the shiny new Tokyo Smoke pot shop. The brand is associated with elevating the cannabis experience, taking it way beyond the image of the stoner eating Doritos in their parents’ basement with offerings like designer bongs and other refined, high-end weed-smoking accessories.
Given this, we can expect this immersive 4,000-square-foot pot shop to be like the Prada of pot shops.
It won’t be surprising if part of the glassy building will also house a café, and coffee-related products as the brand is also known for its gourmet java. Tokyo smoke currently has a number of legal cannabis shops in Winnipeg.
For those in the dark, a January 11 lottery system decided which retailers would be eligible to apply for a license to sell weed in Ontario. According to the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario, stores that failed to open up shop in time for the April 1 deadline could face steeps fines of more than $12,000. The hope for owners is the demand — if it was anything like the lineup around the block at Hunny Pot — will easily make up for the fees.
Featured Image: Instagram/@sarashakeel
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