Earlier today, Fire & Flower announced they have been granted interim licenses to begin stocking their shelves with dried flower, cannabis oils and capsules in preparation for legalization of adult-use cannabis, which takes effect across Canada on October 17.
"As a leader in regulated cannabis retail, we have been preparing for a long time to welcome guests at our shops and are extremely pleased to be among the first licensed cannabis retailers in Alberta," Fire & Flower CEO Trevor Fencott said via press release. "The Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis Commission's decision to grant us interim licenses means we can now bring our socially responsible, education-based approach to cannabis retailing in the province. These licenses have also allowed us to place our first product order with the AGLC for delivery by October 17, 2018."
And when customers walk into the new retail shops on day one of legalization, they won't see any tired cliches of cannabis culture. The upscale cannabis stores won't feature neon pot leaves, homages to Bob Marley or any other stereotypical decorations that you'd expect to find in a dark and smokey man-cave.
“We want our shops to be bright and modern, and the reason for that is to give the highest degree of comfort to our consumers, many of which will be unfamiliar purchasing cannabis once it’s legal,” Fencott told The Star recently. “[W]e came up with this design in order to make the broadest demographic of people feel welcome and safe, but also to provide some privacy and areas for conversation if they so desire.”
To facilitate those cannabis conversations, Fire & Flower outlets will be staffed with an expert team of 'cannistas' (baristas for cannabis), who will be equipped to answer questions so that customers can enjoy a safe and informed cannabis experience when they get home.
And to prevent their products from falling into the hands of minors, Fire & Flower outlets promise to undergo a two-step age verification process in which staff check each customer's ID at the door as well as at the counter before completing their purchases. Guests will be invited to examine select strains in special "smell jars" on display, but the product itself will be secured under lock and key to keep a tight hold on each store's cannabis supply.
If every other cannabis retailer in Canada follows the Fire & Flower model, then day one of legalization will kick off a new and more sophisticated era for cannabis culture.