By Breanne Massey
Special to the Pioneer
The art of growing a business is not a new concept to the Columbia Valley.
But after months of presentations and a positive public recommendation, Ryan Haynes and his silent partner have successfully procured the licence to setup a recreational cannabis shop at the Crossroads.
The Invermere Cannabis Store is targeting an early-November opening date after completing renovations and onboarding new hires.
“We’re targeting a November 1st open date. It’s going to be close though,” said Mr. Haynes by phone with the Pioneer on October 17th while indicating the Recreational Retail Cannabis Licence arrived a mere 10 days ago.
“We’ve interviewed 7 to 8 people in the last few days … I’ve always worked retail so it’s my passion. This is customer service and it’s interesting and fun. It’s fun to build something new and hire people.”
The Regional District of East Kootenay (RDEK) directors approved the proposed shop opening at their regular council meeting on Friday, February 8th.
“It was approved by the RDEK at a public hearing,” said Mr. Haynes. “We had unanimous approval and it was really one of the first steps to present a positive community recommendation to the government. Since then I’ve been waiting for my application to be processed because there’s a backlog.”
A B.C. cannabis retail store licence will authorize licensees to sell non-medical cannabis products and cannabis accessories, according to B.C.’s Cannabis Licencing website.
But overall, the Columbia Valley community has been supportive of this endeavour and Mr. Haynes has been happily fielding questions from the community.
“There’s been a lot of interest and a lot of curious people asking questions since legalization was passed. People are interested, open and honest,” he added.
The Cannabis Act legalized the production, distribution and sales of dried marijuana through regulated vendors across Canada, according to the Department of Justice under the Government of Canada.
Mr. Haynes said edibles are coming to the business after the product is made available.
“We will be adding some more space for edibles, and potentially fluids when they come,” he explained.
The goal of the Invermere Cannabis Store is twofold: to sell safe marijuana and to encourage responsible sales.
“I think this is a good way to regulate and tax it. It’s good,” he added.
Regular business hours will be Sundays to Thursdays, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., as well as 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.
“We’re very excited to try something new, something different,” said Mr. Haynes.
Stay posted for more information about the Invermere Cannabis Store, as their website is currently under construction and should be live soon.
If you’d like to swing by the storefront after opening day, please visit the Invermere Cannabis Store at: #2-4884 Athalmer Road at the Crossroads in Invermere.