Large cannabis retailer partnering with AGCO lottery winner to open Kingston store

CEO of Spiritleaf Darren Bondar stands at a Calgary retail store. The company has applied to open a retail location in Kingston. Global News

As previously reported by Global News, Spiritleaf, an Alberta-based company is looking to set up a cannabis shop in Kingston come April 1.

Spiritleaf was not one of the 25 winners of the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario’s (AGCO) cannabis lottery and did not previously explain how they were going to apply for a licence.

READ MORE: Alberta cannabis company looking to open retail location in Kingston on April 1

But on Feb. 13, Spiritleaf announced they had entered into an agreement with one of the AGCO cannabis lottery winners, which would allow them to open a store at 27 Princess Street, which would be right downtown Kingston in the old Smith and Robinson building.

The company would not release the name of the lottery winner or the conditions of the agreement.

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Another cannabis company, Up Cannabis, has announced that if the application for the Kingston location goes through, they will be opening an “experiential hub” within the Spiritleaf store.

In a news release from the Newstrike Brands, the umbrella company that owns Up Cannabis, the hub was described as a “‘store-within-a-store,’ designed to complement existing Spiritleaf design elements and provide education about cannabis, while showcasing both companies’ love of music and various community and charitable endeavours.”

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In a statement provided to Global Kingston for a previous story, CEO of Spiritleaf, Darren Bondar, said his company was closely tied with Up Cannabis, a company that partnered with the remaining members of The Tragically Hip, who call the limestone city their hometown.

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It’s these ties to Kingston which have made the city a high-priority location for the companies.

Newstrike and Inner Spirit, which owns Spiritleaf, have recently entered into an investment agreement. Spiritleaf has agreed to distribute Up Cannabis products and already has four franchises with Up Cannabis experiential hubs in Alberta and Saskatchewan, and a fifth one to open in Calgary on Feb. 14.

As of Wednesday, an application to the AGCO had been entered for Kingston, but the AGCO does not specify who made the application.

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