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Cannabis retailer Spirit Leaf Inc., a subsidiary of Inner Spirit Holdings Ltd., will open a store in Kingston, Ont., in April with one of the 25 lottery winners. Having entered into a retail agreement, the lottery winner applied to open a Spiritleaf retail cannabis store through a brand licence and consulting arrangement with Spirit Leaf.

“The Spiritleaf brand has a deep connection to Kingston having supported the Gord Downie and Chanie Wenjack Fund to promote reconciliation efforts in the country,” said Darren Bondar, president and CEO of Inner Spirit. “Our company’s entry into the Ontario market is an important milestone for our business strategy. We look forward to the collaboration with the lottery winner and entering the Ontario market through Kingston.”

Up Cannabis, a Newstrike Brands Ltd. subsidiary, said on Tuesday its first “experiential hub” will be featured in the store. Described as a “store within a store,” it will provide cannabis education and showcase a love of music as well as community charitable endeavours, the company said.

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“Up Cannabis’ ties to Kingston run deep as the hometown of our partners, The Tragically Hip, with many special milestones in our company’s history taking place there, and more to come,” said Jay Wilgar, chief executive of Newstrike and Up Cannabis.

Newstrike and Inner Spirit have investment and strategic alliance agreements that allow Up Cannabis product retail distribution and customer lounges in Spiritleaf stores, as regulations permit.

Spirit Leaf has entered into 20 franchise agreements for the Ontario market with the expectation for the government to issue additional retail licences starting in December, the company said. Inner Spirit has four Spiritleaf retail franchise stores open in Alberta and Saskatchewan with a fifth scheduled to open this week.

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