One of the first cannabis dispensaries to set up shop in Brandon will be owned by Delta 9 Cannabis Inc., whose CEO hopes to see its doors open as close to the Oct. 17 legalization date as possible.
Despite “a thousand moving pieces and Murphy’s Law,” John Arbuthnot said he hopes to see the shop join two of their others in Winnipeg and one in Thompson by opening right out the gate.
They’ve yet to announce specific locations for these recreational cannabis dispensaries, but Arbuthnot said their Brandon shop would be situated in a “tier one” commercial space that has heavy vehicular and pedestrian traffic in the area.
This is the first cannabis dispensary that has been confirmed for Brandon while details slowly trickle in, although Arbuthnot said by his estimate, a half-dozen outlets could set up shop in the city.
The Brandon outlet will be constructed to be “Apple Store-esque,” Arbuthnot said, adding that it would be brightly coloured and presented in a “clean style” —”that kind of professionalism, that kind of environment that we wanted to bring to the retail setting.”
“We’re really trying to put cannabis retail in a framework where you’re not going to feel in the least bit uncomfortable walking into that retail store, and you’ll have a very enjoyable retail experience,” he said.
Staff at Delta 9 dispensaries will be trained in not only basic corporate responsibility, but also on the nuances behind the products they are selling.
Arbuthnot said Delta 9 partnered with Mothers Against Drunk Driving, in consultation with medical professionals, to develop its staff training program.
The program will help people “know how they
can conduct themselves responsibility around the consumption end of this business,” he said.
Drawing experience from jurisdictions where legalized cannabis was rolled out, he said they typically struggled more where education was lacking.
This, he said, is why one of their central goals moving forward will be not only co-operating with whatever educational initiative the province comes out with, but also building upon it.
Wherever gaps might exist in provincial programming, Arbuthnot said, “we’re looking to fill those gaps as a responsible retailer.”
In addition to print and other media advertising, he said that they plan on hosting community events at their Brandon retail space in order to “give people the full story of what they need to know.”
Delta 9 Cannabis Inc. joined partner company Canopy Growth Corp. as one of four successful candidates to receive the provincial government’s
go-ahead to open retail cannabis outlets in Manitoba during their first round of approvals earlier this year.
Other successful candidates include National Access Cannabis, a numbered Canadian corporation featuring several companies, and Brandon-based B.O.B. Headquarters, which partnered with Tokyo Smoke in their bid.
B.O.B. Headquarters co-owner Robert Ritchot was unavailable for comment by press time on Tuesday.
At tje latest update last month, Ritchot said they remained on track to open up to approximately a dozen outlets by the end of the year, but were not ready to announce locations.
» Twitter: @TylerClarkeMB