BC’s eighth government-run cannabis store opened in Powell River on Wednesday, October 30.
Tyson Muzzillo, regional manager of cannabis operations for BC Cannabis Stores, provided the Peak a guided tour of the store prior to its opening. Located at 115-7035 Barnet Street, the store features opaque windows and an entrance and exit way that shields the product from young eyes.
Muzzillo, upon entering the store, said there is a strong focus on social responsibility.
“The first thing is we keep cannabis away from youth,” he said. “As soon as you walk in the door we have security. You’ll see a person greeting everybody at the counter, welcoming people to BC Cannabis Stores. We make sure everyone who comes into this space is 19 years old and we are going to ask for two pieces of ID to make sure they are 19 years or older.”
Muzzillo said it is different from a liquor store, where youth can enter if they are accompanied by an adult.
The BC Cannabis store is bright, inviting and welcoming, said Muzzillo. People can come in and experience cannabis, maybe for the first time, or maybe they are an aficionado and know a lot about cannabis, he added.
“We have something for everyone,” said Muzzillo.
There will be cannabis consultants on the floor waiting for customers to come in. Consultants will ask people questions, such as whether they have been in a cannabis store before, whether they have consumed cannabis before, or just help customers find their way throughout the store.
The focus on social responsibility includes educating customers about cannabis and the things to know before purchasing.
“Know the risks; if you have children at home make sure you are storing it safely,” said Muzzillo. “There are the expected effects of cannabis. There are very important things you need to know before you consume cannabis.”
The store features storyboards on topics such as the cannabis plants, THC and CBD and other components of cannabis. It helps customers to build a profile of what they are looking for in terms of the cannabis they purchase.
All of the flowers on display can be viewed in bowl-like structures mounted to a display table. The bowls have magnifying glasses so consumers can get a good look at the bud, and they can pull out a plug and actually smell the product. They cannot touch it, however, because everything is sealed.
There is also cannabis product for sale in the store, such as bongs, pipes, vaporizers, storage containers, grinders and papers. There are also CBD oils and capsules, and cannabis consultants can help walk consumers through the use of these products.
“We have everything you need in order to get started or to supplement what you already have,” said Muzzillo. “We have start-up kits to get everyone rolling.”
Edibles and topical cannabis have just been legalized by the federal government but are not expected to hit the BC Cannabis Stores until December.
When it comes time to purchase, customers can pick up a small form and fill out the information regarding their purchase and take it to the checkout, where the product is locked away, and will be retrieved by a cashier.
The last thing customers see as they exit the store is a reminder not to drive high.
“We encourage people to come down and see what we are about,” said Muzzillo. “I think people will be very surprised.”
Regular operating hours will be from 10 am to 7 pm Monday to Thursday, 10 am to 9 pm on Fridays and Saturdays, and 11 am to 6 pm on Sundays.