Dundas Hello Cannabis Store wants to have a positive effect on community

News Apr 18, 2019 by Craig Campbell Dundas Star News

Hello Cannabis Store wants to have a positive impact on the community of Dundas when the provincially licensed retailer finally opens its doors at 57 Cootes Dr., the operators said.

Standing in the midst of what was still a renovation site on Tuesday, April 16, consultant Stephen Verbeek and store manager Frank Germana were hoping to serve customers in about 10 days.

Store owner Santino J. Coppolino received his retail operator licence from the AGCO (Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario) for the Dundas store on Friday, April 12. The group was working toward final government inspection this week and a retail store authorization in order to open.

They also hope to show the community the store can be beneficial, bringing new customers to local businesses. They stressed it will be completely different than the illegal, unregulated dispensaries that operated in the shadows.

“It’s about the experience, enjoying the process of discussion, chatting and learning,” said Verbeek. “It’s an Apple store, functionally, but with the esthetics of the Town of Dundas.”

He compared the general nature of the impact to that of a local craft brewery.

“We’re hoping to have a similar positive effect on the community,” Verbeek said. “We bring good customers and people to the community.”

Marvin Ryder, assistant professor at McMaster University’s Degroote School of Business, said a better analogy might be an LCBO store — ironically what originally occupied the new Hello Cannabis Store space.

Current laws won’t permit sampling of the product, or growing it on site so a detailed comparison to a craft brewery doesn’t quite hold up for Ryder. He’s also not convinced there will be significant economic spinoff to area businesses. He anticipates people buying their legal pot then leaving. But he also doesn’t expect a negative impact.

“The customer is no different than the customer that goes to an LCBO store,” Ryder said. “They’re just ordinary folks.”

He believes licensed, regulated locations like the Hello Cannabis Store will contribute to the demise of black market pot.

“Their days are numbered because of the convenience factor,” Ryder said, adding it won’t disappear any time soon, but gradually phase out as more stores are added across the province in the next few years.

He said when legal pot prices increased shortly after legalization due to high demand and low supply, illegal pot prices also increased.

“They figured the government is raising prices so we can raise them too,” Ryder said.

He said he expects three different types of customer to come to Hello Cannabis in the early days: People who know exactly what they’re looking for; curiosity seekers who aren’t sure what to expect and may never return; and the surprise customer — not a medical cannabis user, but someone who wonders if the product might help them sleep better, or increase their appetite. If they feel it’s helpful they may come back again.

Another impact is job creation. Ryder suggested they might not be high-paying jobs, but Verbeek said they have already hired 19 staff — including at least six Dundas residents — and including management and associated workers like lawyers and bookkeepers, he figures there will be more than 30 people employed by Hello Cannabis Store in some way.

He said all staff completed a mandatory CannSell certification program, which he called the “SmartServe” for cannabis. Staff were trained in how to handle and sell the product, and also screen people for age and intoxication.

Christian Borys, the store’s creative director, said he is overseeing a recycling program at Hello Cannabis Store in an effort to decrease a potential negative impact — excessive plastic packaging.

“One of the issues people have is the amount of plastic packaging,” Borys said.

He said Hello Cannabis Store customers can return all plastic containers and packaging to the front of the store for recycling through a national program.

Dundas Hello Cannabis Store wants to have a positive effect on community

Jobs, business and recycling all part of the plan, say operators

News Apr 18, 2019 by Craig Campbell Dundas Star News

Hello Cannabis Store wants to have a positive impact on the community of Dundas when the provincially licensed retailer finally opens its doors at 57 Cootes Dr., the operators said.

Standing in the midst of what was still a renovation site on Tuesday, April 16, consultant Stephen Verbeek and store manager Frank Germana were hoping to serve customers in about 10 days.

Store owner Santino J. Coppolino received his retail operator licence from the AGCO (Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario) for the Dundas store on Friday, April 12. The group was working toward final government inspection this week and a retail store authorization in order to open.

They also hope to show the community the store can be beneficial, bringing new customers to local businesses. They stressed it will be completely different than the illegal, unregulated dispensaries that operated in the shadows.

“It’s an Apple store, functionally, but with the esthetics of the town of Dundas.” — Stephen Verbeek

“It’s about the experience, enjoying the process of discussion, chatting and learning,” said Verbeek. “It’s an Apple store, functionally, but with the esthetics of the Town of Dundas.”

He compared the general nature of the impact to that of a local craft brewery.

“We’re hoping to have a similar positive effect on the community,” Verbeek said. “We bring good customers and people to the community.”

Marvin Ryder, assistant professor at McMaster University’s Degroote School of Business, said a better analogy might be an LCBO store — ironically what originally occupied the new Hello Cannabis Store space.

Current laws won’t permit sampling of the product, or growing it on site so a detailed comparison to a craft brewery doesn’t quite hold up for Ryder. He’s also not convinced there will be significant economic spinoff to area businesses. He anticipates people buying their legal pot then leaving. But he also doesn’t expect a negative impact.

“The customer is no different than the customer that goes to an LCBO store,” Ryder said. “They’re just ordinary folks.”

He believes licensed, regulated locations like the Hello Cannabis Store will contribute to the demise of black market pot.

“Their days are numbered because of the convenience factor,” Ryder said, adding it won’t disappear any time soon, but gradually phase out as more stores are added across the province in the next few years.

He said when legal pot prices increased shortly after legalization due to high demand and low supply, illegal pot prices also increased.

“They figured the government is raising prices so we can raise them too,” Ryder said.

He said he expects three different types of customer to come to Hello Cannabis in the early days: People who know exactly what they’re looking for; curiosity seekers who aren’t sure what to expect and may never return; and the surprise customer — not a medical cannabis user, but someone who wonders if the product might help them sleep better, or increase their appetite. If they feel it’s helpful they may come back again.

Another impact is job creation. Ryder suggested they might not be high-paying jobs, but Verbeek said they have already hired 19 staff — including at least six Dundas residents — and including management and associated workers like lawyers and bookkeepers, he figures there will be more than 30 people employed by Hello Cannabis Store in some way.

He said all staff completed a mandatory CannSell certification program, which he called the “SmartServe” for cannabis. Staff were trained in how to handle and sell the product, and also screen people for age and intoxication.

Christian Borys, the store’s creative director, said he is overseeing a recycling program at Hello Cannabis Store in an effort to decrease a potential negative impact — excessive plastic packaging.

“One of the issues people have is the amount of plastic packaging,” Borys said.

He said Hello Cannabis Store customers can return all plastic containers and packaging to the front of the store for recycling through a national program.

Dundas Hello Cannabis Store wants to have a positive effect on community

Jobs, business and recycling all part of the plan, say operators

News Apr 18, 2019 by Craig Campbell Dundas Star News

Hello Cannabis Store wants to have a positive impact on the community of Dundas when the provincially licensed retailer finally opens its doors at 57 Cootes Dr., the operators said.

Standing in the midst of what was still a renovation site on Tuesday, April 16, consultant Stephen Verbeek and store manager Frank Germana were hoping to serve customers in about 10 days.

Store owner Santino J. Coppolino received his retail operator licence from the AGCO (Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario) for the Dundas store on Friday, April 12. The group was working toward final government inspection this week and a retail store authorization in order to open.

They also hope to show the community the store can be beneficial, bringing new customers to local businesses. They stressed it will be completely different than the illegal, unregulated dispensaries that operated in the shadows.

“It’s an Apple store, functionally, but with the esthetics of the town of Dundas.” — Stephen Verbeek

“It’s about the experience, enjoying the process of discussion, chatting and learning,” said Verbeek. “It’s an Apple store, functionally, but with the esthetics of the Town of Dundas.”

He compared the general nature of the impact to that of a local craft brewery.

“We’re hoping to have a similar positive effect on the community,” Verbeek said. “We bring good customers and people to the community.”

Marvin Ryder, assistant professor at McMaster University’s Degroote School of Business, said a better analogy might be an LCBO store — ironically what originally occupied the new Hello Cannabis Store space.

Current laws won’t permit sampling of the product, or growing it on site so a detailed comparison to a craft brewery doesn’t quite hold up for Ryder. He’s also not convinced there will be significant economic spinoff to area businesses. He anticipates people buying their legal pot then leaving. But he also doesn’t expect a negative impact.

“The customer is no different than the customer that goes to an LCBO store,” Ryder said. “They’re just ordinary folks.”

He believes licensed, regulated locations like the Hello Cannabis Store will contribute to the demise of black market pot.

“Their days are numbered because of the convenience factor,” Ryder said, adding it won’t disappear any time soon, but gradually phase out as more stores are added across the province in the next few years.

He said when legal pot prices increased shortly after legalization due to high demand and low supply, illegal pot prices also increased.

“They figured the government is raising prices so we can raise them too,” Ryder said.

He said he expects three different types of customer to come to Hello Cannabis in the early days: People who know exactly what they’re looking for; curiosity seekers who aren’t sure what to expect and may never return; and the surprise customer — not a medical cannabis user, but someone who wonders if the product might help them sleep better, or increase their appetite. If they feel it’s helpful they may come back again.

Another impact is job creation. Ryder suggested they might not be high-paying jobs, but Verbeek said they have already hired 19 staff — including at least six Dundas residents — and including management and associated workers like lawyers and bookkeepers, he figures there will be more than 30 people employed by Hello Cannabis Store in some way.

He said all staff completed a mandatory CannSell certification program, which he called the “SmartServe” for cannabis. Staff were trained in how to handle and sell the product, and also screen people for age and intoxication.

Christian Borys, the store’s creative director, said he is overseeing a recycling program at Hello Cannabis Store in an effort to decrease a potential negative impact — excessive plastic packaging.

“One of the issues people have is the amount of plastic packaging,” Borys said.

He said Hello Cannabis Store customers can return all plastic containers and packaging to the front of the store for recycling through a national program.