The Hobo Recreational Cannabis Store in Ottawa is making cuts to its hours due to a provincial limit on weekly orders.
As first reported by Jen Beard for the CBC, the store, located on the city’s bustling Bank Street, will now close-up shop early on Tuesdays, entirely on Wednesdays, and then open up again only at 6 pm on Thursdays after their weekly stock comes in.
The closure comes just after Quebec’s announcement that provincially-run cannabis stores will be returning to a seven-days-a-week schedule, after enacting similar measures shortly after legalization.
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Harrison Stoker, vice-president of brand and culture for the store’s parent company, the Donnelly Group, told Daily Hive in an interview that the store has had the shortage “right from the get-go”, and that after originally hoping demand for cannabis would fluctuate during the week—it didn’t.
“We had assumed potentially that the demand for our store would have some peaks and valleys, if you will. But it’s just been really, really consistent,” he said.
The province has a 25 kilogram-a-week limit that a store can order, Stoker said, and with Hobo’s demand, that stock is usually sold out just a couple days into the week.
The reason for that, he said, is because the store is designed for quick pick-up. Orders are picked and packaged while customers are transacting them, and there’s an entire floor dedicated to express pick-up, which avoids long lines. It also means that the store is banging out 1,400 transactions per day, which Stoker said is about double his competition.
As for the province’s cannabis regulating bodies like the Ontario Cannabis Store and the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario, Stoker said that conversations are being had about potential solutions.
“We’re in really good sort of productive open dialogue with [them],” he said, noting that he knows that “nuance details” still need to be “ironed out,” given the new industry. For now, he said, they’re keeping in mind the “long-term strategy,” with knowledge that the province needs to divide their stock evenly, and not sell-out to a few higher demand stores.
The new hours mean that store will have to be “strategic” with allotting hours for its employees, Stoker said, and that customers are being gently turned away at the door when they show up during new off hours.