Another cannabis retailer has opened shop in the Comox Valley.
Inspired Cannabis opened for business May 11 at the Courtenay Mall, downtown at the corner of 6th Street and Cliffe Avenue.
“It’s been better than what we expected,” assistant manager Bryan Stewart said. “The first couple of weeks was a bit tough, but once 5th Street opened up, our business started taking off. The more people that are walking around town, the more people we have coming in.”
In January, La Pachi was the first privately-owned outlet to open in the city. There is also a government store at the Washington Park Shopping Mall. The City is allowing five private retailers and the government store to operate in Courtenay.
For the most part, Inspired Cannabis carries the same products as the government outlet.
“We have to buy all of our products through the government,” Stewart said.
The store carries various strains of marijuana, tinctures and oils, pipes, CBD drinks and gummies.
Customers of all ages, some in their 90s, patronize the premises. Many have aches and pains. Some are cancer patients.
“A lot more older people than younger, which is surprising,” staff member Scott Northey said. “We’re not getting a lot of the 19-, 20-year-olds.”
“The average age is probably close to 50,” Stewart said. “A lot of people are looking for a bit of relief. A lot of it’s to help people sleep…They don’t like to smoke it because they get anxiety from smoking it, so they ingest.”
They also note a mental state, or mindset, that is associated with using the products.
“If you want it to work, it will work a little better,” Northey said.
“The brain is a powerful thing,” Stewart added. “If you want stuff to work, it does work.”
Inspired Cannabis owners plan to branch out nation-wide with many more stores.
In a presentation to Courtenay council earlier in the year, the ownership group said the company will contribute $10,000 towards affordable housing projects. Each year, it also plans to contribute one per cent of total sales, estimated at about $20,000, for the City to disperse towards services to those in need.
“I’m pretty happy with some of the things that the owners are doing to help the community,” Stewart said.
Inspired Cannabis is located at 605/625 Cliffe Ave. The store is open every day.