There are still a lot of people harbouring the misconception that buying cannabis means your money automatically goes up in smoke. The truth is, since the Canadian legalization of cannabis in 2018, retailers have been offering a huge variety of products and consumption options that don’t involve smoking at all.
“We get a lot of people who think the only way to get high from cannabis is to roll up a joint or put it in a pipe,” said Jesse Prior, manager of Sessions Cannabis in Timmins. “The stigma is still there, as are the skeptics who don’t come into the store because they think they can only shop for marijuana to smoke and they don’t want to smoke it. At Sessions, we curate our selection based on the new user looking to dip their toes in the water and try new things.”
Cannabis producers have gotten extremely creative with the number of innovative new ways to consume cannabis, and that has opened up many different product categories according to Prior.
“One of the newest and biggest demands is for cannabis oils,” he said. “A lot of people come in asking for them. The oils are ingestible. You us a typical medical dropper to put a drop under your tongue and let it absorb.”
Edible products like gummies, chocolates, and cannabis-infused beverages are rapidly becoming popular consumer purchases, as savvy buyers look for new ways to enjoy their favourite strains of sativa or indica cannabis products. Sour soft chews, hard caramel, and sparkling water or juices containing varying levels of CBD or THC are just a few of the hundreds of different options available at cannabis retailers like Sessions.
“We even have a dissolvable powder,” said Prior. “Any type of liquid you drink can be mixed with the powder, whether it’s your morning coffee, juice or a smoothie. Just put it in, mix it up, and it dissolves. You can turn any beverage into a CBD or THC-infused beverage.”
The fact there are so many more choices than simply buying bud to smoke means staff at cannabis retailers have to be extremely knowledgeable about the products they sell. At Sessions, Prior said staff are continually being educated on their product knowledge through weekly “licensed producer” sessions.
“We contact producers who explain to us how the product is grown, how it is packaged, how it is trimmed. We learn things like the type of soil they use, what kind of growhouses it is kept in, and a bunch of other info. We learn things our guests might not know so we can pass it on to our guests. It helps to keep our knowledge at top level.”
In order to enhance the shopper experience and to account for the wide variety of products available in store, Prior says all items are grouped together by product and listed with prices that include taxes.
“We call it stoner-friendly,” said Prior. “Let’s say you’re shopping for an indica pre-roll product. You go to our indica pre-roll section and all products are grouped together. All have individual displays and pricing. Everything is also available on our website.”
Prior invites anyone interested in learning more about cannabis to drop into the store even if they don’t want to buy anything. All the “budtenders” at Sessions are trained and can help educate consumers on the types of products available. To learn more, visit Sessions Cannabis at 425 Algonquin Boulevard in Park Road Square.