Vernon pub opens cannabis store

Highlander Cannabis newest addition to Squires Four Public House on Stickle Road

Nestled within Squires Four Public House on Stickle Road, Highlander Cannabis quietly opened its doors to the public June 1.

Pub and liquor store owner for the past 12 years, Serry Massoud said the move into the world of legalized recreational cannabis made sense for the location and he’s excited to see where the new industry will take him.

“Now people can buy their wine, have a lunch and get their cannabis in one place,” Massoud said.

Massoud’s application was the Regional District of North Okanagan’s first for a retail cannabis store. The Electoral Area Advisory Committee reviewed the application and held a public hearing in the fall of 2019.

“The RDNO was fantastic,” Massoud said, noting the frustrations came with the six-month waiting period to obtain licensing and security.

Massoud said he took Highlander Cannabis in a different direction than many of his competitors.

“I wanted to create a comfortable atmosphere,” he said. “We have skylights, wood…”

“‘It feels like a living room,’” Massoud quoted his daughter.

Business has been steady, Massoud said, likely due to liquor store customers’ curiosity and the reputation of the very knowledgeable store manager, Carla.

She came as a recommendation, Massoud said. Here, she can provide customers with the ins-and-outs of products and equipment.

Similar to a sommelier, Carla’s expertise is in cannabis product.

Massoud said his store manager can ensure customers are connected with a product that is right for them, and as all the cannabis is lab-grown, customers can expect the same quality every time they purchase it.

He said the same can’t be expected in the black market and at unlicensed retail outlets in the area.

“I would like to see those regulated,” he said.

As retail cannabis stores are becoming more common in the Greater Vernon Area and North Okanagan as a whole, Massoud said the stigma surrounding the once illegal drug is shrinking.

“People will look at it differently than they used to,” he said, “now that it’s not underground.”

In comparison to his successful liquor store business, Massoud said the clientele in Highlander is surprisingly different. He said the two products, although often compared, are drastically different.

Massoud said he is excited to see where the cannabis industry goes in the future, but for now, he’s eager to watch his business grow while he continues to meet new and different people.

READ MORE: Water springs from retaining wall near Vernon’s Polson Park

READ MORE: Indigenous Vernon pot shop owner refuses to close after provincial raid


@caitleerach
Caitlin.clow@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

cannabis

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

July Kootenay real estate sales at record high

Sales and prices of Kootenay real estate on the rise

Dust on Crust bring bluegrass to Golden

The band came together at the Wolf’s Den jam nights and have been playing bluegrass ever since

Morning Start: The human body contains trace amounts of gold

Your morning start for Friday, August 7, 2020

Roots & Blues announces ticket giveaway ahead of online festival

The festival is streaming free online this year, but those who pre-register can win passes for 2021.

Morning Start: Water can freeze and boil at the same time

Your morning start for Thursday, August 6, 2020

53 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths cap off week of high infection rates in B.C.

Roughly 1,500 people are self-isolating because they either have COVID-19 or have been exposed to it

Number of Kelowna-linked COVID-19 cases grows to 159

Interior Health reported four new cases region-wide on Friday, 18 remain active

VIDEO: U.S. Air Force pilot does fly-by for B.C. son amid COVID border separation

Sky-high father-son visit plays out over White Rock Pier

3 Vancouver police officers test positive for COVID after responding to large party

Union president says other officers are self-isolating due to possible exposure

New mothers with COVID-19 should still breastfeed: Canada’s top doctor

Dr. Theresa Tam made the recommendation during World Breastfeeding Awareness Week

Collapse of Nunavut ice shelf ‘like losing a good friend:’ glaciologist

The ice shelf on the northwestern edge of Ellesmere Island has shrunk 43 per cent

Police watchdog deems Kelowna RCMP not responsible for man’s death

The man spoke to police after a car crash before leaving on foot; he was found dead six hours later

‘It’s just my job’: Off-duty Peachland paramedic saves choking girl downtown Penticton

Family vacationing in Penticton assisted by off-duty paramedic, who helps save 13-year-old

Central Okanagan adds 3,600 jobs in July: Statistics Canada

The region’s unemployment rate decreased by 0.2 percentage points to 10 per cent in July

Most Read