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Hobo Hits Record-Breaking Sales Opening Day

Build it, and they will come. That’s what Hobo Cannabis Company was betting on when they opened a store in Timmins, Ontario on Friday. Well, they were right. Despite having to build, hire employees, and open its doors during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Hobo store experienced record-breaking sales on opening day.

The very first cannabis store in Timmins opened on May 8th to customers virtually lining up at the door. According to Jex Woods, Operations Director East for Hobo, the store had 15 to 20 online orders before they even opened up at 9 am, and the orders didn’t stop all day.

By closing time, they had done around 170 deliveries and racked up just shy of $46,000 in sales.

“It was a wild response,” says Woods, “We hit our sales goal by 11 am.”

Woods admitted that it was a scramble to make sure all of their ducks were in a row, but they quickly figured out delivery and curb-side pick-up, allowing them to continue to serve customers while still maintaining social distancing. While the journey from application to opening the doors took nearly twice as long as anticipated due to pandemic-related setbacks, Woods says they just “went for it” and obviously all of their hard work doing FaceTime interviews and crash course training sessions paid off.

“We’re very thankful to have such happy people on our team; everyone is super excited to be there,” he says. “Our more senior members were side by side with new staff, who are all local. The Timmins population seems happy to have us.”

In fact, Woods credits a lot of the success of opening day to the city itself, saying, “It is 100% the amazing community. We can toot our own horn and say we are the best, but the community was so eager to have something here, and we are glad to be here and be that store.”

The closest cannabis store to Timmins is nearly 2 hours away, in Sudbury. Along with access to in-person budtenders, Hobo is providing online sales and delivery services to the rural area that, it seems, are desperately needed.

In March, the province’s flip-flop on whether or not they were an essential business provided some hurdles for Hobo’s other two Ottawa stores as well as Timmins, and then the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) put a hold on processing Cannabis Retail Store Authorizations for a few weeks before resuming at the end of April. They acknowledged that several applicants were ready to open before COVID-19 hit, and wanted to allow them to do so to continue combatting the black market cannabis trade.

Since then, over 20 stores have been authorized to open, and an additional 40 stores could be approved by the end of this month once their public notice periods end. In total, at least 10 new stores have opened for business, and Hobo, at least, is planning to open around 10 more stores this year. The majority of approved retail locations are in the Greater Toronto Area and Ottawa, but stores waiting to pass the public notice period have locations all across the province.

Even amid the pandemic, and the “definitely weird” situation that cannabis retailers are facing in the coming months, Woods is optimistic.

“One word for the future? Growth,” he says, “Exciting things are happening!”


Correction to original article: The original article posted on May 14th stated that on opening day in April of 2019, Ontario stores made a total of nearly $50,000. According to POS and Inventory Management firm Cova Software that figure is actually the average sales of all Ontario stores that opened on April 1, 2019. We apologize for the error.



Tags: Cannabis Retailers (14), COVID-19 (45), Hobo Cannabis Company (3), Ontario Cannabis (65), recreational cannabis (44)