Donnelly Group to Expand into Recreational Cannabis Stores

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A renowned name in the Vancouver hospitality industry is getting into the cannabis space. The Donnelly Group is opening Hobo Recreational Cannabis stores around BC and Ontario. Eight of their nine stores are confirmed for B.C. with locations on Vancouver’s essential thoroughfares Robson Street, Granville Street, Main Street, and Commercial Drive.

The Donnelly Group already operates a slew of entities in Vancouver and Toronto including pubs, cocktail lounges, and barbershops. The pubs operated by the Donnelly Group in Vancouver are Blackbird, Lamplighter, Butcher & Bullock, Library Square, Cinema, New Oxford, Tavern, Three Brits, Railway Stage, and Sing Sing. The cocktail lounges operated in Vancouver are Granville Room and Clough Club. The Donnelly Group also has a chain of five barbershops in Vancouver under the name Barber & Co. In Toronto, they operate two barbershops under the same name. They also operate four Toronto pubs including Belfast Love, Death & Taxes, Walrus, and Pong Bar.  

This announcement is boon for the local economies as 200 retail positions will be opening up for the Hobo brand in the next few months. The Hobo ethos is described in their official press release. “With an emphasis on delivering a modern, approachable retail experience, each of Hobo’s nine locations will employ a contemporary aesthetic rooted in simple, functional design and feature a well-considered product range and frictionless technology. As a testament to Hobo’s commitment to the consumer experience and the reinvigoration of Canada’s waning cannabis culture, each Hobo location will reflect its host neighbourhood and feature elements of the community’s aesthetic amid a welcoming atmosphere.”

The Donnelly Group sees Hobo as a natural progression. “With two decades of consumer hospitality experience and regulatory know-how, Hobo Recreational Cannabis Store felt very natural for Donnelly Group,” says Harrison Stoker, VP Brand & Culture at Donnely Group. “We’re dedicated to creating great gathering places for communities across Canada. The result of that dedication is a certain expertise in the areas of sourcing viable lease locations and navigating the regulatory framework around licensing. This has proved invaluable for our new venture, Hobo. Looking forward to the launch of our first nine retail locations in the coming months, our aim is to apply our experience to make the Hobo cannabis experience disarming, compassionate and, fundamentally, human.”