Business is about to bud for one new cannabis store in St. Albert.
“We are really excited to be sharing Spiritleaf,” said store owner Jayne Kent. “It is such a beautiful space and the products are really great.”
Spiritleaf, a franchise based out of Calgary, is one of two cannabis retailers expected to open in St. Albert this month. The store, #107, 150 Bellerose Drive, has plans to turn the key for customers next week.
“We’re one of the first Spiritleafs to open,” Kent said. “This is new for everybody.”
The experienceWhen customers walk into the store, they’ll be greeted by an employee and asked to show government photo identification.
If they're over the age of 18, they’ll be granted entry into the store.
Inside the 1,500-square-foot space, the customer will see handcrafted wooden floors and tables. The wall behind the cashier’s counter also displays a large, wooden background with its name mounted in white, trendy typography.
With its earthy tones and traditional designs, the store has a relaxed and comfortable ambience to it. The aim is to make customers feel welcome as soon as they enter.
Upon entering through the entryway, people will notice a customer lounge donned with Tragically Hip décor. Called an "Experiential Hub," every Spiritleaf store across Canada will feature that sitting area.
Spirtleaf is owned by Inner Spirit Holdings Ltd. The company has a cross-investment with Newstrike Brands Ltd. and has entered an alliance with licensed producer Up Cannabis Inc., which is also owned by Newstrike.
Earlier this year, the Canadian band Tragically Hip entered a partnership with Newstrike. The partnership is what prompted the lounge’s design across Spiritleaf stores.
At the hub, customers will be encouraged to hang out and learn from each other’s experience with cannabis.
“The little lounge area is more inviting for when you walk in,” said Jessica Fraleigh, sister of Jayne Kent and partner of the store.
The room will also feature two long, wooden tables with up to 15 different types of cannabis to smell. The smelling containers will be clear, with holes at the top for smelling. They will also be tethered to the table, stopping people from walking away with them.
Tablets are also mounted at each table, where customers can see the different types of product. A large digital menu at the front of the store will display what cannabis is in store and how many orders are left.
Eventually, the tablets will also allow people to place orders to pick up at the cashier.
Special deliveryAs Kent screws together a poster frame inside Spiritleaf, she works on the finishing touches of the store. At this point, the only thing missing from the pot shop is cannabis.
On Wednesday night, Kent stayed up past 3 a.m. with partners Fraleigh and Jason Kent (Jayne's husband), placing online orders. Together, the three spent hours waiting for the AGLC to put new product on the site for order.
Now, the team is playing the waiting game. Once open, the store will run from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. seven days a week.