As one of a limited number of marijuana stores ready to open in Saskatchewan on the date of legalization, one Yorkton retailer is anticipating a busy day Wednesday.
Nadia Vattovaz is the executive vice president of Fire and Flower, which was granted cannabis retail licences in Alberta and Saskatchewan. The company will have four stores ready to open in Alberta and one in Yorkton.
“We have ordered the maximum that we could order and we anticipate our stores being stocked,” Vattovaz said when asked if the Yorkton location will have enough supply ready from vendors.
With a business brand emphasizing education and community, Vottovaz said preparation has also involved careful hiring practices and training staff members.
“We call them our cannistas (like baristas) – so they do 90 hours of training and they are educated on the product and the use of our product,” Vattovaz explained.
She admits reaction from communities has been mixed because it’s such a new industry and that’s why the company has tried to be very forward in speaking with the public about what to expect.
Vattovaz noted the atmosphere of the shops is very bright, clean and welcoming and that might come as a pleasant surprise to customers expecting something different.
“When you walk in the store what you’ll see is there will be display cases which will show accessories and there will also be displays of – you’re allowed a certain amount of smell jars – and we will have those available in accordance with the regulatory authorities in the various provinces,” Vattovaz said.
There will also be an education centre located in each store to answer any type of questions from a wide range of expected customers.
“Those that are experienced will most likely have specific products in mind that they’re interested in and we can help them with those,” Vattovaz said. “Then there’ll be customers who are new to cannabis and in that regard they will have questions – everything from what the product is, the various types of consumption methodologies and really how to use the product and so we will be helping them with that.”
She also pointed out one big difference with legalization is that customers will now know exactly what is in the product they are buying
“Outside of medicinal use, people either didn’t know what they were consuming or exactly what it contained, now we have products that are regulated and approved by Health Canada and we can really speak to our customers and help navigate what that means.”
Customers will have to carry identification to prove they are of legal age at the door and present it again when buying any type of product.