The second cannabis retailer in Sault Ste. Marie opened its doors on today (Friday, August 14), at noon.
Cannabis Jacks, the first retailer of its kind, has been busy preparing for its grand opening since mid-June. Cannabis Jacks offers guests a simple, yet educational shopping experience and allows guests to browse through hand-selected products that appeal to the Sault Ste. Marie community.
Co-Founder and CEO Michael Birch suggested it would be an excellent opportunity to have a cannabis store in the Sault, considering his close ties. Having a camp on St. Joseph Island and almost a decade working for the OLG here, he immediately knew this was his next big thing. “Before I was involved in this adventure and talking to Michael as a friend, there was no question that the first store was going to be in the Sault. This was where he wanted to invest,” said David Cote, Co-Founder and COO of Cannabis Jacks.
“I talked to some of the franchise players in the market, but the deal they were offering wasn’t appealing, so I decided to do it on my own. I realized early on in the building process that there were other operators in a similar situation, who want the support and brand, but didn’t want to pay the price the big players in the market are charging. I started talking to David, and we decided to partner on the license business,” said Birch.
The goal of Cannabis Jacks is to offer their guests an experience that leaves them happy and confident in their product purchase. Cannabis Jacks will not have product cards, but is opting for digital menu boards and a curated product selection. “I’ve been into other retailers across the province, and you walk in, and it’s overwhelming. They have 400 items; they are not arranged properly in the store,” said Birch. “We digitized everything: menu boards list what we carry and clearly explain what the product is. We believe it’ll be a more enjoyable shopping experience than trying to read product cards.”
Cannabis Jacks will be offering click-and-collect start on day one through their website, by selecting the Sault Ste. Marie store. Current provincial regulations require guests to enter the store to pick up their click-and-collect orders, but should the region or the province move back a stage due to Covid, Cannabis Jacks is prepared to offer curbside pick up right away.
In speaking about the plans to continue growing the Cannabis Jacks brand, the leaders have surrounded themselves with experienced individuals: “If you look at the team, there’s 15 years of legal cannabis retail experience. The [recreational cannabis] industry hasn’t even been legal for two years yet. We’re humble and we’ll continue learning as this industry matures,” Cote explained.
As we neared the conclusion of our discussion, Birch reiterated his intent to grow with the community, “We want to support the community and support Sault Ste. Marie. All of our employees are local. All the vendors and materials we bought 95 per cent have come from the Sault. If we can support local, we certainly will – it just makes sense. It’s always a great day at Cannabis Jacks.”
Look to see continued Cannabis Jacks expansion across Ontario in the coming months. For any information regarding Cannabis Jacks, operating hours, and licensing opportunities, please visit cannabisjacks.ca.