“Privacy without barriers.”
That’s how the NSLC is describing the design of their cannabis outlets, which are slated to open on Oct. 17 when recreational cannabis becomes legal in Canada.
“You’re seeing a very modern and bright location that we expect will service Nova Scotians’ needs on the cannabis offering,” said NSLC president and CEO Bret Mitchell during a media preview at the NSLC store on Joseph Howe Drive.
Consumers will be able to enter the cannabis section, which is clearly marked with a large sign, through the liquor outlet. Minors will not be allowed inside.
“By federal law, people cannot see in here who are not 19 years of age or over so we frosted the glass on the way in to allow enough natural light to get in here but at that same time provide that privacy that we’re required to deliver,” Mitchell said.
Once inside, consumers can use tablets to look up and research the different strains of cannabis available. Staff will also be on hand to offer suggestions, but are trained not to offer any medical advice.
Mitchell says the outlets will have 70 to 75 different strains available at any point, all of which will be divided into four categories: relax, unwind, centre and enhance. The strains are placed in each category based on how much THC it contains and the effect it might have on users.
“We do expect because of the newness and the number of products that we have that we will be out of stock at given times based on consumer demand,” Mitchell said.
Once consumers are ready to make a purchase, they can line up for the counter where the strains are all stored in white bins. The wall-to-wall bins are under four TV screens that will show descriptions of the four categories, as well as “corporate responsibility messages.”
Mitchell estimates the Joseph Howe Drive location will see up to 90 people per hour. Since the store can only hold 60, line-ups outside of the cannabis section are possible.
According to the NSLC, most of the 12 outlets are already renovated, and all will be ready once Oct. 17 arrives.
“[Two locations], we actually slowed down [renovations] once we got the Oct. 17 date we didn’t need to spend a lot of unnecessary capital and money on overtime to get them ready for July,” Mitchell said.
He adds all employees have been hired and were already existing NSLC staff members. Training will not begin until closer to legalization.
As for deals?
Mitchell points out there will be no sales, promotions or Air Miles offered on cannabis because federal laws prohibit it.