MY FIRST LEGAL RETAIL CANNABIS STORE VISITS: SUPRETTE & SPIRITLEAF
Early on April first, I woke up in Ottawa, Ontario excited to start my week with the Daughters of the Vote Program. I had no idea what to expect! I woke up ridiculously early and got bored of browsing the internet for potential April Fools jokes. What wasn't an April Fools Day joke, was that legal retail cannabis stores in Ontario were finally open for business and I was a 22-minute Uber away from Superette, one of two retail stores nearby in Ottawa.
Around 9:20 AM I contemplated taking a quick drive to the store and whether or not the line-up would be too long to return in time for my 11 AM workshop. I wasted a couple of minutes thinking that I should have gone sooner before ultimately calling an Uber driver that was 3 minutes away.
I arrived at Superette less than 20 minutes before its opening and was pleasantly surprised that the line-up wasn't too long, and the sun was relatively warm. When I arrived, I counted about 40 people in front me and a couple dozen quickly followed behind me.
The staff were quick to offer coffee to myself others in line, some of the staff looking very familiar to me; I later realized they were staff from Tweed's visitor facility I met earlier in the year that were there to support the store's launch.
Within half an hour, I was in the store. They checked my ID once thoroughly at the door where I noticed this great example of facilitated customer service; coloured baskets indicating whether you are "good" (red - I'm Good) or if you need to talk (green - Let's Talk) if you may have questions or require assistance with your product selection:
Although I only stayed for a few minutes. I loved my experience. The staff were very friendly and helpful. The store was much bigger than I anticipated with lots of floral decor and many different products; both cultivars and clothing as well as several other cannabis-related staples.
My second legal Ontario retail cannabis experience was at Spiritleaf in Kingston, Ontario. This store was much smaller but had several strains to choose from and lovely displays and art work paying tribute to the late Gord Downie. It had musical decor throughout including videos and audio demo's illustrating how their plants are grown to music; the Tragically Hip's tracks on repeat, no doubt.
While I was in Ottawa, I was able to ask a question pertaining to the Cannabis Act, and all Canadian Acts indirectly, in the Senate of Canada. I asked the Senators in attendance if unintended environmental repercussions were considered when passing bills. For example, while I understand one of the main goals of the Cannabis Act is to reduce the appeal to youth, especially in relation to packaging and branding, the overabundance of packaging and lack of recycling programs being implemented is detrimental to the environment.
While the responses given were vague, I was happy to be able to speak about a pressing issue to sustainability during my time in Senate. I was equally happy to see upon my return to the Bay of Quinte that Bill C-438, An Act to enact the Canadian Environmental Bill of Rights and to make related amendments to other Acts, will be up for a first reading in Senate:
"This enactment enacts the Canadian Environmental Bill of Rights, which provides that every person residing in Canada has the following rights:
(a) the right to a healthy and ecologically balanced environment;
(b) the right to reasonable, timely and affordable access to information regarding the environment;
(c) the right to effective, informed and timely public participation in decision-making regarding the environment, including in relation to any Act of Parliament respecting the environment and any environmental policy of the Government of Canada;
(d) the right to bring a matter regarding the protection of the environment before courts or tribunals; and
(e) the right to request a review of any Act of Parliament respecting the environment, any instrument made under such an Act or any environmental policy of the Government of Canada"
Moved by: Linda Duncan, MP for Edmonton Strathcona, AB
I enjoyed both retail experiences and am excited to see the future advancements in Ontario cannabis retail and future enactments that keep environmental repercussions to the land in mind. Ultimately, for a sustainable industry, environmental impacts need to be considered. In terms of Bill C-438, I am most excited for clause (e) above.
The Feminist of Cannabis