Pot store green­lit for Fowlers Cor­ners

Huge Shops to team up with Cof­fee Time for cannabis re­tail

The Peterborough Examiner - - Front Page - Jes­sica Nyznik Ex­am­iner Staff Writer

Cof­fee Time in Fowlers Cor­ners may soon be con­verted into a mar­i­juana store af­ter the lo­ca­tion was se­lected as one of the 42 new mar­i­juana stores in On­tario.

The prov­ince’s sec­ond cannabis store lot­tery re­sults were an­nounced Wed­nes­day and the cof­fee shop at High­way 7 and Lind­say Road be­tween Peter­bor­ough and Omemee is on the list.

The idea is to con­vert the cof­fee shop into a re­tail weed store, op­er­ated by Huge Shops, a Toronto-based cannabis re­tailer.

Michael Potts, the pres­i­dent of Huge Shops, con­firmed the lot­tery win in an email to the Ex­am­iner Wed­nes­day.

“We are very ex­cited with our se­lec­tion and look for­ward to op­er­at­ing in Peter­bor­ough,” Potts wrote.

But the deal isn’t carved in stone just yet.

Huge Shops of­fi­cials have to com­plete an ap­pli­ca­tion that will be vet­ted by the Al­co­hol and Gam­ing Commission of On­tario, which reg­u­lates the sec­tor.

Lot­tery win­ners have un­til Wed­nes­day to get their forms in, pay li­cens­ing fees and pro­vide a let­ter of credit for an ad­di­tional $50,000 to AGCO.

In De­cem­ber, FSD Pharma Inc, a li­censed pro­ducer based in the for­mer Kraft plant in Cobourg, in­vested $1.3 mil­lion in Huge Shops to help the com­pany’s plans to con­vert some Cof­fee Time lo­ca­tions into mar­i­juana re­tail stores in On­tario.

Huge Shops reached a deal to take over a least 10 Cof­fee Time lo­ca­tions, with the op­tion to by more sites through the café’s

par­ent com­pany, Chair­man’s Brands.

FSD of­fi­cials have said Huge Shops deal with Chair­man’s Brands gives the com­pany ac­cess to a “net­work with a well-es­tab­lished con­sumer base.”

Yet Cof­fee Time’s brand­ing won’t be as­so­ci­ated with Huge Shops if the cannabis busi­ness takes over.

Any Cof­fee Time taken over by Huge Shops will be re­branded and op­er­ated in­de­pen­dently from the café.

A sec­ond lo­ca­tion on Che­mong Road was also se­lected as a run­ner-up, if Huge Shops’ vet­ting falls through.

Lloyd Tucker is on a wait-list for the east re­gion but couldn’t be reached for com­ment.

The ad­dress Tucker pro­vided for the po­ten­tial pot shop is 1434 Che­mong Rd., Unit 1. The unit is in the Northview Com­merce Court.

The space was for­merly oc­cu­pied by Shaw Com­puter Sys­tems Inc., which moved to King Street.

To be el­i­gi­ble for the sec­ond cannabis store lot­tery, ap­pli­cants had to prove they’d se­cured re­tail space that was preap­proved to sell pot.

Ap­pli­cants also had to show that they had enough cap­i­tal — to the sum of $250,000 — in the cof­fers to open it.

On­tario’s brick-and-mortar cannabis re­tail stores opened April 1, af­ter 25 li­cences were ap­proved.

Be­fore that, pot could only be bought legally on­line through the On­tario Cannabis Store, a gov­ern­ment-run web­site. Mar­i­juana was le­gal­ized on Oct. 17. While some prov­inces have re­stricted pot smok­ing to pri­vate res­i­dences and prop­er­ties, in On­tario, it can be puffed any­where cig­a­rettes and va­p­ing can.

The prov­ince’s 42 stores will be spread as fol­lows: 13 in Toronto, six in the Greater Toronto Area, 11 in the west re­gion, seven in the east re­gion, along with: Kenora, North Bay, Sault Ste. Marie, Thun­der Bay and Tim­mins for the north­ern re­gion.

An­other eight shops will be lo­cated on First Na­tions re­serves, but none of those are in the Peter­bor­ough area. Can­di­dates were se­lected last month and are now un­der­go­ing vet­ting.

CLIF­FORD SKARSTEDT EX­AM­INER

The Cof­fee Time store lo­ca­tion is set to be re­branded as Huge Shops and op­er­ated in­de­pen­dently from the cof­fee shop.

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