Being the first to open a shop in Castlegar will help when the field starts getting crowded, Thompson says. (Photo: John Boivin)

Castlegar’s first pot shop to open on Friday

The Higher Path is the culmination of years of hard work by owner Jeff Thompson

When Castlegar’s first retail cannabis shop opens Friday, it will be the fulfillment of a long-held dream by owner Jeff Thompson.

“It’s been three years of work, thousands of hours,” says Thompson, who was waiting for his inventory to arrive when the Castlegar News caught up with him.

The shop, called The Higher Path, is located on Columbia Ave., just south of Canadian Tire.

It’s just the ninth recreational cannabis store to open in the province — Thompson’s first shop, which opened in Trail a few weeks ago, was the sixth.

It doesn’t look much from the outside — government regulations demand the store windows be completely opaque, and there’s no advertising on the outside except the store name.

Even the inside is pretty unremarkable — just a single poster of marijuana strains adorns the grey walls. A sampling table to allow customers to view and smell product and a work counter complete the spartan arrangement.

A company news release says the store’s “casual yet classy” design is intended to offer the customer a comfortable and intimate shopping experience.

For Thompson, it’s everything he’s dreamed of for years.

“I’m very happy with everything, totally,” said Thompson. “Our staff has been working in the industry for a number of years, they are well-educated, and we have a good idea of what customers are looking for in terms of prices and quality.

“So hopefully that will set us apart from all the others.”

“Having a variety of strains to choose from may be a new and overwhelming experience for most, so staff will be readily available to provide information and assistance,” Thompson says.

In addition to cannabis flower, The Higher Path will also offer pre-rolled joints, capsules and oils, as well as accessories such as grinders and dry-herb vaporizers.

“It will be a learning curve for everyone, but we’re very open to feedback and will make adjustments and evolve based on what we are hearing from our customers. We have access to a huge variety of products so if there’s something you’d like to see us bring in just let us know,” says Thompson. “Our aim is to offer a very personalized sort of “boutique shop” experience with outstanding customer service.”

Also important to The Higher Path’s success is being first to open in the city. Council placed no limits on the number of stores that could open in Castlegar, and at least four others are in the works, including two franchise outlets.

RELATED: Two more cannabis shops seeking licenses in Castlegar

In a soon-to-be crowded market, Thompson is cognizant his shop has to find ways to stand out quickly.

“It’s tough to say if the community can support five shops, but we’ll see. It’s definitely an advantage [to be first] while the others aren’t open,” he laughs. “But maybe we can build a customer base while they’re not open as well.”

“I just hope that we’re giving a nice customer experience. We have a great staff, and it’ll be a lot of fun.”

The hours for The Higher Path will be 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday.



reporter@rosslandnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

B.C. Interior free from measles

Vancouver measles outbreak hasn’t spread to the B.C. Interior

Trail RCMP seeking info on van near Fruitvale school

Vehicle in question offered young girl a ride to school

Parity prevails at BC Senior Curling championship

Teams go toe-to-toe in second Draw at the BC Senior Curling Championship

Man injured in police shooting near Nelson has died

The death follows an incident in Bonnington on Feb. 13

Thieves target Genelle commercial properties

Police believe thefts may be connected

Students give two thumbs up to no more B.C. student loan interest

Eliminating the loan interest charges could save the average graduate $2,300 over 10 years

Ontario man accused of killing 11-year-old daughter dies in hospital, police say

Roopesh Rajkumar had been hospitalized with what police described as a self-inflicted gunshot wound

Manitoba ‘pauses’ link with ex-B.C. premier Gordon Campbell after allegations

Campbell had been hired to review two major hydro projects

Heritage minute features Japanese-Canadian baseball team, internment

The Vancouver Asahi baseball team won various championships across the Pacific Northwest

UPDATE: Woman, off-duty cop in critical condition after stabbing outside B.C. elementary school

The officer was interceding in an alleged assault when he and the woman were stabbed

$10-a-day child care not in 2019 budget, but advocate not irked

Sharon Gregson with the Coalition of Child Care Advocates of B.C. says NDP on track to deliver promise

B.C. Seniors Advocate questions labour shortage in care homes

Are there really no workers, or are care aide wages too low?

B.C. business groups worry about looming economic decline in wake of NDP budget

The party’s second government budget focused on plenty of spending, business advocates say

Missing Surrey snowshoer caught in avalanche found dead on Vancouver mountain

North Shore Rescue resumed its search today after efforts were temporarily halted Tuesday due to snowstorm

Most Read