Pot shop cuts hours because it can't get enough cannabis

An Ottawa pot shop is being forced to significantly reduce its hours because it's consistently running out of cannabis and it says the province won't allow it to increase its order.

Store can only order 25 kilograms per week

The Hobo Recreational Cannabis Store on Bank Street will now close on Tuesdays and reopen on Thursdays instead of operating seven days a week. (Lorian Belanger/Radio-Canada)

An Ottawa pot shop is being forced to significantly reduce its hours because it's consistently running out of cannabis and says the province won't allow it to increase its order.

The Hobo Recreational Cannabis Store on Bank Street, which was operating seven days a week for 14 hours a day, will now close early on Tuesdays and entirely on Wednesdays.

It will open again on Thursdays at 6 p.m. after its weekly delivery arrives.

"We've been running out of cannabis for a few weeks now," said Harrison Stoker, vice-president of brand and culture for the Donnelly Group, the store's parent company.

We would take twice as much in a heartbeat, absolutely.- Harrison Stoker

"We probably really should have been a little bit more proactive, but I think we were hoping that maybe [the demand for pot] would be a little more like a roller coaster with some ups and downs. But we definitely see some consistency in demand at this point."

Stoker said the province limits how much cannabis a store can order to 25 kilograms per week. Hobo makes an average of 1,400 transactions a day, he said, and they usually sell out by Tuesday.

"We would take twice as much in a heartbeat, absolutely, because we've got the demand," Stoker said.

"But we're being good partners and neighbours on this one so we are [accepting] the policy that's been set."

Cannabis on display on the opening day of the Hobo Recreational Cannabis Store on Bank Street. (Lorian Belanger/Radio-Canada)

Customers being turned away at the door

Stoker said while they won't lay off any Hobo employees because of the closures, some may face a reduction in hours.

"We're going to work through it," he said.

Customers shopping for pot Wednesday were greeted at the door by employees informing them of the new opening times.

Shoppers disappointed after cannabis store runs out of stock

3 years ago
Duration 0:23
Hobo Recreational Cannabis Store closed temporarily on Wednesday morning, leaving potential buyers out of luck.

Stoker said they're in conversation with the provincial cannabis regulating bodies, and while they hope the supply will increase, they know it's going to take time.

"It's a great relationship, it's very collaborative. I think we just need to, sort of, weather a couple of storms to kind of push through this next evolution of the industry," said Stoker.

In a statement to CBC, Ontario Cannabis Store (OCS) said it continues to work with its 37 federally licensed producer suppliers to secure enough cannabis.

"Given the national shortage of cannabis, OCS will continue to monitor the supply situation and may make adjustments as required to better support sales trends that are emerging," the statement said.


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?