Licences are pending for seven new cannabis stores in Muskoka. If approved by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario, the stores will open later this year and in early 2021.
Licence applications are in process for one cannabis store each in Bracebridge and Gravenhurst, and five stores in Huntsville. Bud Heaven at 77 Manitoba St. in Bracebridge is currently Muskoka’s only authorized cannabis store.
Muskoka residents and spouses Shane Copegog and Danielle Morgan have partnered with Canadian company Hello Cannabis to open Muskoka Cannabis Store locations at 92 King William St. in Huntsville and 351 Talisman Dr. in Gravenhurst. Openings are targeted for January 2021.
“If we can get that date bumped up through the Commission, we should be ready to go from the end of October,” said Morgan. “We have the right location in Huntsville, being across from the LCBO at Hwy. 60. In Gravenhurst, we’re in the Skyline Plaza with the LCBO and Sobeys.”
Copegog and Morgan are not worried about competition from other Huntsville cannabis stores. Those stores include Toke at 6 Brunel Rd., owned by Shelby Behren-Stevenson, Puffin’s Cannabis Dispensary at 96 Main St. E. owned by Adam Todd, and Kelly’s Cannabis at 36 King William St. Brothers Aren and Evan Arkarakas will open Kasa Kana in early 2021 at 6 King William St. A cannabis store application is also in process for 9 Taylor Rd. in Bracebridge.
“It comes down to branding, having that second store location and working with Hello Cannabis,” said Morgan. “We believe we’ll be able to differentiate ourselves from our competition.”
Puffin’s Cannabis, owned by Todd and business partner Curtis Muir, has an opening date of February 2021 but could be open in November 2020 if Commission approvals increase in September.
A Huntsville resident for 14 years, Todd established two successful businesses in town and believes Puffin’s will be the same.
“We are confident that we know our town and our people,” said Todd. “With our unique business plan, Puffin’s will become the name in Huntsville for recreational cannabis. We plan to expand when, and if, the time is right.”