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FOCUS: Legal weed dispensary opens on Bloor (Mar. 2020)

March 24th, 2020 · No Comments

Tokyo Smoke location aims to educate consumers

Resembling the Apple Store rather than a weed shop, Tokyo Smoke invested heavily in an interior design that it’s welcoming and facilitates it’s educational approach to the legal sale of marijuana. TANYA IELYSEIEVA/GLEANER NEWS

By Tanya Ielyseieva

The first legal marijuana dispensary has opened in the heart of the Annex just steps from Bathurst and Bloor.

The new Tokyo Smoke store is located at 570 Bloor St. W., just opposite the emerging Mirvish Village development; currently it is the largest location of Tokyo Smoke with 4,200 sq ft of retail space. The store features products from a number of growers including the first of its kind Houseplant brand as well as Tweed, Edison, Aurora among many others. 

The Houseplant line is a Canadian cannabis company founded by Vancouver-born actor and director Seth Rogen, screenwriter Evan Goldberg, and partners, including United Talent Agency (UTA). It is owned in partnership with Canopy Growth Corporation. Under the terms of the partnership Canopy Growth will support and help scale the Houseplant’s success in their licensed sites, including Tokyo Smoke. Houseplant offers dried flower cannabis, pre-rolled joints, and softgel capsules.

Houseplant, a brand of cannabis, designed the nostalgic living room pop up located right in the retails space. TANYA LELYSEIEVA/GLEANER NEWS

To further promote its brand in the store, Houseplant offers a pop-up lounge, complete with elements of a nostalgic living room, curated displays, and moments of discovery for guests.

In November 2019 Tokyo Smoke, owned by Canopy Growth Corporation, announced its intention to open ten retail cannabis stores across Ontario.

“As a company, we are pleased to see this progress in the Ontario retail market,” said Mark Zekulin, CEO, Canopy Growth, in the release by Canopy Growth Corporation. “Increasing our presence in Toronto and for the first time north of the GTA is an important step to building the Tokyo Smoke brand with an emphasis on consumer education and cannabis destigmatization.”

With Tokyo Smoke 333 Yonge at Dundas Square in Toronto and Tokyo Smoke Oshawa, this will bring the number of Tokyo Smoke retail cannabis stores in Ontario to a total of 12.

The store itself looks similar to an Apple store; it is stark and minimalist, with a few accents and pops of colour. There is a cannabis terpene (basically aromatic oil) podium in the centre of the store which, according to staff, “soothes the mind and the body”.

The store categorizes its products into five sections: Go (high energy), Rise (creativity), Equalize (balance), Ease (comfort), and Pause (relaxation). The sections are split into spray and oils, pre-rolled joints and capsules, edibles, and bud. Edibles have only recently been legalized for retail sale and are very popular among customers who are new to marjuana use.

“The idea was to create a community for creators where it was also a safe space for them to talk about cannabis and just educate, not consume, but just educate themselves,” said Melissa Gallagher, Director, Franchising at Canopy Growth Corporation, while explaining the goal of Tokyo Smoke.

In the store, the customer is greeted by an educator who can walk the person through the system and help them understand the difference between Sativa and Indica and how that can impact their experience.

Tags: Annex