There may be a new cannabis shop growing in Erin.
Cannabis Cannabis is a brand focused on ways to consume pot holistically. They want to educate new participants and encourage users to take a kinder approach, ditch wasteful products, care for our bodies, and respect the earth that grows the plant.
“I’ve been coming to Erin for the last seven years,” said Jordan Eady, CEO of Cannabis Cannabis, at a recent meeting of Erin council. “My fiancé’s family lives here. I have a lot of friends in the community; as well, her family has been a big part of volunteering and part of the legion.
“I’ve been falling in love with Erin since I spent my first day there.”
Erin previously decided not to opt-in to hosting retail cannabis stores during the early days of legalization, citing a lack of details from the province as a primary factor. Eady is hoping council will change its mind.
According to Eady, Cannabis Cannabis will focus on three pillars: sustainability, education and design.
The store plans to use sustainable products, including wood injection moulding and mushroom-based packaging for their items. Also planned is the Greenius Bar — an education resource for customers who are still familiarizing themselves with cannabis — to make people feel comfortable before making a purchase. Hemp will also be integrated into the design.
“What we want to do is create a safe and educational environment for purchasing tested and regulated cannabis,” said Eady.
Ryan Caruso, chief strategy officer, has been involved in the industry on a medical front, helping patients navigate appropriate products. The provincial government invited Caruso to play an influential role in developing the Ontario Cannabis Store. He was also the chief operations officer for Hello Cannabis, one of the first chains to navigate new guidelines for opening cannabis stores across the province.
“I’m trying to impact as many of these retail stores as possible with that mantra of a safe retail environment for adult use, preventing youth access, with the hope of eliminating the illicit market,” said Caruso. “Without stores, that’s the only game in town.”
He said the price per gram has also come down, making retail stores competitive with the illicit market.
Mayor Allan Alls wanted to know two things: if they would be profitable, as Erin’s population isn’t large, and if they found a space to locate their store.
They believe they will and have looked at a few locations already, such as a former Coffee Time and another property on Main Street.
Eady has also researched the industry, noting many stores weren’t very inviting. They would like to create a store the older population would like to visit and where adult practitioners can share the space.
Eady said they would open their first store in downtown Stratford and work with the city’s heritage department to design it.
“We’re spending about $200,000 making the store up to their code, as well as using a sustainable material,” said Eady. “All of our clothes are made from hemp.”
The administration will bring a further report to the council under a notice of motion on how they opt-in, and make it happen, if they choose to decide to, at the next meeting.
Joshua Santos, Local Journalism Initiative reporter, Orangeville Banner