While the location is secret for now, the BC Cannabis Store in Oliver will be a tight ship.
That was the impression after listening to retail operations director Kevin Satterfield, who made a presentation to Town council on Monday.
Satterfield, representing the BC Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch, started by saying that alcohol and cannabis were under prohibition for about 100 years.
He said the distribution branch has been working on establishing BC Cannabis Stores in municipalities. He noted that Oliver and Penticton will be one of 20 locations that will open by the end of the year.
He didn’t disclose the Oliver location when asked by a member of council, but said the store will be approximately 2,200 square feet and employ 14-17 people, (one manager, two assistant managers, six union employees, four part-time and four auxiliary workers).
All must undergo enhanced security screening that is more comprehensive than the standard criminal record check.
The average starting wage is $21 per hour.
Satterfield said their number one focus is social responsibility.
“Because we are focused on the fact that it is just out of prohibition we want to make sure they (people) are handling it in a socially responsible way.”
He explained there will be a two-ID check right at the second door as people walk in. And unlike liquor stores, you won’t be able to bring a child in even with adult supervision. No one under the age of 19 will be permitted to enter.
Satterfield said there will be a lot of messages in the store, such as keeping cannabis away from youth, knowing your limit (adults can possess up to 30 grams of dried cannabis in public) and “don’t drive high.”
There will also be plenty of information on plant anatomy and types, the corresponding compounds (THC and CBD), and terpenes (what provide the aroma and flavour).
Satterfield said the store will create a safe and favourable alternative to purchasing non-medical cannabis from the illicit market. And he noted that all of the display cabinets in the store will be locked.
“There’s nothing available on the floor that can actually be taken or touched by the consumer; everything is locked up in the back, even as far down as a lighter or roll papers.”
There will be superior intruder monitoring systems with interior and exterior camera surveillance to deter theft. Even the windows will be smash-resistant.
Satterfield addressed some of the myths surrounding cannabis stores, such as product will be incinerated on the premises or disposed of in dumpsters. He said unsalable cannabis will be safely destroyed off the premises.
Other myths include the store will attract criminals and cannabis will be consumed on the property.
That won’t happen, and no samples will be permitted in the store.
Satterfield said they will not carry promotional wares such as apparel, stationary and novelty giftware.
The store will be bright and clean, with a centre circle where all the buds will be displayed. The Kamloops store has 92 buds on display, with accessories, oils, capsules vaporizers, pipes and bongs.
Satterfield mentioned there will be artisan bongs on display, ranging in cost from $4,500 to $8,000 each.
“They are available . . . just letting you know,” he said, prompting laughter from council members.
The buds on display are attached to a tether system, where consumers can lift them up to inspect them. There is also a magnifying glass piece to study the bud up close. In addition, there is even a nose piece that people can utilize to smell the terpines, Satterfield said.