Scarlet Fire, Toronto’s latest dispensary is an offbeat, funky cannabis boutique inspired by the Grateful Dead and the counterculture aesthetic that grew around the band. The store offers top-shelf craft cannabis and is complete with a hallucinogenic Rabbit Hole, a replica of the Wall of Sound, Dave’s Picks section offering the staff’s selections, and Terpene Station where customers can deepen their cannabis knowledge.
What once seemed like wishful thinking has evolved into a flourishing industry in Canada. But succeeding as a cannabis entrepreneur in the retail sector comes with its challenges, from negotiating the ever-changing landscape to identifying opportunities, driving growth and building trust with consumers.
Canada’s restrictive packaging rules have inadvertently created some unintended side-effects such as focusing consumer decision making on high THC content and low pricing, rather than prioritizing product quality and brand loyalty. The industry is calling for more flexibility on par with legal American markets with greater emphasis on psychoactive and physical effects, cultivation methods, and cannabinoid and terpene content. With cannabis sales growing and product quality improving, it is time to leave behind generic packaging and embrace labelling similar to craft beers and other consumer products.