As Ontario gears up for physical cannabis retailers to open this April, a brand new experiential cannabis lounge is set to open in Ontario this spring. The new lounge is expected to be opened within a cannabis retailer to provide consumers with a more in-depth shopping experience and also a cannabis community.
This newest experiential location, which is set to open in Kingston, Ontario will be the first in Ontario, but there are four other lounges like this in Canada right now, specifically in Alberta and Saskatchewan.
The lounges are run by the cannabis production company Up Cannabis and are officially called Up Lounges. They partnered with Spiritleaf which is a cannabis retail franchise across the country to feature the educational and community lounges in their stores. More interestingly though, Up Cannabis has also partnered with the iconic Canadian band, The Tragically Hip to create these lounges and it's had a major influence on their design and even location.
Each lounge features unique artwork and paintings of the late Gord Downie and the rest of The Tragically Hip on the walls. The lounges also feature a signed acoustic guitar to add to the ambience while also showing Up Cannabis's love of music. They also plan on adding a music listening station.
This partnership with The Tragically Hip is also what's determined the location of Spiritleaf's first Ontario Up Lounge. While you might expect something like this to open in a big city like Toronto, the store and lounge will be located in Kingston since this is the hometown of The Tragically Hip.
While Spiritleaf was not one of the 25 people who won retail licenses in Ontario's cannabis lottery, they have entered into an agreement with one of the winners in the Kingston area to open the franchise there.
The partnership with Up Cannabis and The Tragically Hip goes beyond these new experiential Up Lounges too.
The company also worked with the band as the main sponsor to the Gord Downie tribute concert at Yonge and Dundas Square last year and even produced a limited edition Tragically Hip record called Songs and Strains. They also named five strains of cannabis after the band's songs.
Up Cannabis and Spiritleaf are currently going through the process of applying and preparing their cannabis retail location in Ontario. If everything goes according to plan, the new Up Lounge will open in Kingston on April 1, 2019.