With the October 17th date for legalization of recreational cannabis nearing closer, John and David Thomas are hard at work trying to get everything ready for the Martensville retail location. The two brothers are the founders of Jimmy’s Cannabis Shop, a Saskatchewan based company that was chosen through a random lottery to run the cannabis retail locations in Martensville, Estevan, Battleford and Moosomin. Having applied for a total of 29 communities and hoping to be drawn for even one, the two were shocked to have been chosen in four locations, as there were a high number of applicants within the communities chosen to have a retail location. With Martensville having over 50 applications included within the lottery, John says that both he and David were both ecstatic to have been selected. “I’m proud to announce that we will be moving forward as Jimmy’s Cannabis Shop. Our brand will be focused on our Saskatchewan background, and have an in-store experience that prioritizes comfort, inclusion, and customer service,” John explained.
The combination of the two brothers is something that seems perfect for this new venture as John has a vast background in pharmaceuticals, even owning his own pharmacy for years. John is confident that his experience as a health care professional will be a benefit to the business. David on the other hand, an electric engineer by trade has knowledge of all of the software and online components of the business. “We complement each other well,” John stated.
Martensville’s retail cannabis location will be at 701 Centennial Drive North – Unit 1. Having a wide array of options available to choose from within the community, John noted that they took careful consideration when selecting as they wanted to ensure there was enough space to house the products they intend to carry. Seeing Martensville as a large market for their business, careful consideration has been put into the layout of the location. “Our vision is that we want it to be a very comfortable place. There will be a wide array of people coming in; from people that have never used cannabis before to people that are very experienced with it, so we wanted to be able to accommodate that within our store design. We have made some functional choices to reflect that, but also it is really important to us to be a welcoming place where everyone can come to, regardless of their experience level,” John explained. Having travelled to visit other dispensaries within the USA, John and David got a better idea of what they did and didn’t want within their location. One main item being that they want their set up to be welcoming to all individuals. “We saw other dispensaries that were really intimidating for a non-user to go in to. Bongs, pipes, and cannabis itself have many different variations so we want to be sure that we can educate those that need education, but then also service those that want to just be in and out as fast as possible,” added John.
Not only will cannabis be available in-store, but there will be an online portal for ordering as well. Orders placed online will be done through Canada Post in home delivery for discreet services. Additionally, there will be online order with in-store pick-up and an express lane within the store where transactions can be done quickly. For those that wish to take their time and make an informed decision when purchasing product, there will be a showcase area with educational opportunities available as well.
Working long hours to reach their goal of having three of their locations open for October 17th, including Martensville, John and David know that there is still a lot of work to do within a short timeframe. With the location now in place, one of the next steps will be to hire staff. Expecting to require approximately 12 employees, every person hired will require both mandatory training through SLGA and private training as well, ensuring that they can provide education for the customers. “It is not a new industry but there will be a lot of new experiences. It is new to a lot of people, and we want to ensure that they have all of the information they require when making a purchase. We are really happy to be providing local opportunities. We are bringing jobs but I think the other thing is, people are really excited for this industry and for the people that are working there, I think that this will be an exciting job,” said John.
In addition to supplying numerous local job opportunities, John stated that their business is looking forward to working with other local businesses, including Bold Growth, which is a major local cannabis producer, situated just a short distance away. “With our location, and their proximity to here, it is quite exciting. Having a local producer is important to us and providing a product that was grown so close is huge for us.” Both John and David grew up in Regina and in speaking with John, it is clear that a lot of thought and consideration has gone into their business plan and sticking to their Saskatchewan roots. Supporting the local economy is an opportunity that the brothers are looking forward to being a part of.
As legalization of recreational cannabis is a new concept for businesses within Saskatchewan, every step is one that has not been taken by any other individual in the past. Many residents are curious as to how this process will play out, and how the locations will actually work. Having owned a business previously, it is hard for John to take the experience of opening his pharmacy and using it as an example with this new venture. “When I opened my pharmacy, people had opened them before. I went off of what others had done and it was all laid out as to where the drugs were shipped from, the software that was used and the business model. With cannabis, it is all new to everyone involved and with a short timeframe in which to work, it leaves little room for missteps along the way. The rules are still changing as we go,” said John.
Cannabis is unique in the sense that there is both a medicinal use and a recreational use and John stated that the government has been very clear that there is a separation between the two. With both alcohol and tobacco, it is purely for recreational use, so it’s a whole new concept that is currently being trail blazed.
Although there is a lot of excitement regarding the cannabis legalization, John reminds Saskatchewan residents that there is also the need to focus on being a responsible cannabis user. The store will focus on prevention of sales to minors and to people that are impaired. “We have a responsibility to help ensure that the drug is used responsibly and whatever efforts we can take into that, we will.” Part of this is ensuring that every person that walks into the store is required to show ID stating they are over the age of 19, whether they are 25, 60 or 90 years old. Although cannabis is a recreational drug, it is still a drug; therefore it is important that it be used responsibly, same as with alcohol, pharmaceuticals, etc.
For more information about Jimmy’s Cannabis Shop, or to inquire about a job, contact email@example.com or visit https://www.jimmyscannabis.com.