The Higher Path Cannibis Co. owner Jordan Perkins and employee Jacquie Bernier. The first cannabis retail store in Armstrong had a successful opening day Friday, Feb. 28, 2020. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)

Armstrong, Lumby pot shops peel back window coverings

Higher Path owner says transparency could help reduce stigma around recreational cannabis

The window coverings are coming down in two Greater Vernon Area cannabis stores following the Attorney General’s announcement Thursday, June 18.

The Higher Path, with locations in Armstrong and a recently opened store in Lumby, has already removed its coverings and owner Jordan Perkins said he’s happy about the decision.

attorney General David Eby announced June 18 that “non-transparent walls” are no longer required. This change applies to private retailers and government-owned BC Cannabis stores, which use frosted glass.

The change is about “employee safety,” mainly to deter theft attempts by improving visibility. Regulations still prevent any products, packaging or labels from being visible from outside the store, where children under 19 might be exposed to them.

But Perkins said this will also help reduce the stigma around recreational cannabis use.

“I think it’s the way it should have been the whole time,” Perkins said from the new Lumby location which opened June 16.

Perkins said now people on the streets can see what’s going on inside.

“They don’t know if it’s just a bunch of bikers hanging around inside with the windows covered,” he said. “Now they can see the clean atmosphere and all of the art we have in our shop.”

He said his staff loves it too.

“It’s nice and bright and people aren’t scared of going in.”

But this didn’t come without a financial hit, Perkins said.

“Last week, we spent $2,000 on decals for the windows in the Lumby store,” he said. “Now, I’m peeling them off.”

As of June 18, cannabis retail employees will also be required to take a “selling it right” online course for a $35 fee, plus GST. This certificate is valid for two years following the completion of the course.

Existing cannabis retail and marketing businesses, including government stores, have until Sept. 30 to ensure their employees complete the course, which is based on the “serving it right” course for liquor retailers.

“That’s great,” Perkins said in response. “They should keep that, it gives general knowledge to all staff.”

– with Black Press files

READ MORE: B.C. requires liquor-style “selling it right” course for cannabis retailers

READ MORE: From post office to pot shop: Armstrong’s first cannabis store opens doors


@caitleerach
Caitlin.clow@vernonmorningstar.com

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