Hobo Recreational Cannabis Store made its debut on Bank Street in April 2019, and while it’s the first of its kind, it won’t be the last. The store is part of the Donnelly Group family, the BC-based hospitality brand responsible for decidedly hip restaurants, bars, and barber shops that have become fixtures in Vancouver and Toronto.
Hobo in Centretown is Donnelly’s first foray into cannabis after working with license-holder Karan Someshwar, who was among 25 lottery winners authorized to open Ontario’s first cannabis stores.
When it was first announced, the name of the chain drew criticism “for using a term associated with homeless people” though the company defended its vision, telling media that “the word evokes a sense of wanderlust, and implies a passion for the journey over the actual, final destination.”
Since opening the Ottawa location, two more Hobo outlets have also been licensed in Vancouver.
Softly lit and outfitted with white oak fixtures, this cannabis store feels like a cozy, contemporary rec room.
Vibe“Not all who wander are lost.” The store mantra—spelled out in neon script—greets shoppers inside the doors.
Upon entry, a reception area serves as a moment to pause, check IDs, and take a breather in a comfy couch. Further inside, the cannabis showroom is decked out in warm, light wood paneling and accessorized with houseplants.
Being that the retail floor is sandwiched between another sitting area—this one layered with patterned textiles—the scheme gives the impression that shopping is just as important as rest.
The layout of the store invites self-serve style discovery: there’s touch screen tablets situated throughout the sales floor, making it easy to navigate the whole menu solo with plenty to see and smell along the way. Those looking for guidance can tap staff who are available to sherpa shoppers in the right direction.
Wood shelves propped with a selection of cannabis packages are organized by preroll, capsule, spray, and oil. Meanwhile, tabletop displays featuring dried flower run down the centre of the deep room and allow shoppers a chance to compare various strains in sensory jars.
Once you’re ready to cash out, visit the customer service desk to process and pay for your order.
Products & Pricing
Hobo organizes cannabis products using a five-colour system categorizing cannabis types under the headings: Lift, Calm, Rest, Move, and Balance. Corresponding colors aim to predict the desired effects. AltaVie’s high-CBD strain Campfire, for instance, gets brandished with the marker for “Calm.”
Accessories-wise, find a selection of papers, vapes, grinders, and functional art objects like Summerland’s Fruit Fantasy ceramic apple pipe.
What You Should Know
The store is centrally located and wheelchair accessible. Due to nationwide-supply shortages, the store has temporarily reduced its operating hours.