Cannabis stores say Penticton city council’s decision to allow for later hours of operation was a good move for the city, allowing for a more competitive market in town.
It was a surprise move at Tuesday’s meeting, when Mayor John Vassilaki proposed allowing cannabis shops to stay open until 11 p.m. instead of 8 p.m., effective immediately.
“Well, it's fantastic. It's good to have that ability to have a little bit more competitive edge. There's a lot of competition in town and it's nice to see that we have more ability to compete with the other shops,” Paul Pyne, the store manager at Eggs Canna said.
“It's nice to just see progression, see the council kind of approving it and getting it a little bit more in line with other industries.”
“The initial reaction is awesome. You know, it's something that we had kind of been campaigning to city council for over a year and they had voted it down last year. So this news coming in just before the Canada Day long weekend is great and hopefully it helps us as things start to open up here,” Matt Bolton, the franchise owner for Spiritleaf Penticton said.
Both stores didn’t immediately change their hours when it was announced, but are rolling out changes over the weekend and into the next week.
Eggs Canna will be open until 11 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, extending until 9 p.m. every other day.
Spiritleaf has extended their hours until 10 p.m. every day starting next Monday.
Bolton added that he didn’t change his store hours right away, out of respect for the staff and to take the time to let the community know of the changes, rather than adding on those two hours without any customers coming in.
Overall, both Bolton and Pyne think the extended hours will give customers more opportunities to shop and increase business.
“We have stores in Kelowna and stores in Vancouver and they operate under those full hours, and they've seen success in those late night hours for sure,” Pyne said.
While many stores are happy to see change, it also puts them in a difficult position to adjust staff hours and hire on enough people.
“It does create a little bit of a challenge with scheduling and staff. It's different now, the staff that we hired then, the hours were a different layout. So their lifestyles are going to be affected in this way. Some staff came on board with the notion that they can be out here by 8:30 at night, now their schedule has changed,” Pyne explained.
“Of course a little bit more notice for planning and, you know prep [would have been nice], however, when this good news comes I'm just happy for it to be here,” Bolton said.
And the good news keeps coming for the cannabis shops, as the provincial government approved licensed cannabis retailers to deliver cannabis to homes starting on July 15.
“There's got to be some people out there that aren't able to make it to our location, or just don't have modes of transportation and we'll tap into you know, a little bit of a newer market," Bolton said.
Keep an eye on cannabis shops throughout the city as hours change and delivery options are added.