Cannabis NB unveils sleek, subdued look for pot shops

A mock-up of the new Cannabis NB store design looks more like a place where you might get an expensive haircut or than the psychedelic poster-and-tie-dye decor often associated with marijuana dispensaries.

Retail experience won't be like buying from 'the back of a car behind the Walmart,' NB Liquor CEO says

All cannabis products will be behind glass, stores will not be self serve. (Submitted)

A mock-up of the new Cannabis NB store design looks more like a place where you might get an expensive haircut or  top-of-the-line laptop than the psychedelic poster-and-tie-dye decor often associated with marijuana dispensaries.

And there will be iPads. 

Finance Minister Cathy Rogers unveiled the design of the stores at 165 Main St. in Moncton on Thursday. The location is one of 20 properties rented by Cannabis NB for the legal sale of marijuana, starting sometime this summer.

The province stayed away from flashing lights and splashy designs, opting instead for a sleek, subdued look.

"We're not looking for new users," Rogers said. "We want first and foremost to have an environment that is an improvement from the current."

Brian Harriman, president and CEO of NB Liquor and Finance Minister Cathy Rogers unveil the new CannabisNB look in Moncton on Thursday. (Tori Weldon/CBC)

Different experience

Brian Harriman, president and CEO of NB Liquor, which set up the network of stores, agreed. Customers will have a different experience than, "buying from the back of a car behind the Walmart," he said.

Indicas ,  sativas , hybrids, et cetera, dry bud oils — those kind of things.- Brian Harriman , CEO of NB Liquor

But for those who'd rather not go to a cannabis shop, the Crown corporation is investing in "things like home delivery, to help attack the illegal market," he said.

Only people 19 years of age and older will be allowed to enter the store. An employee will be at the entrance checking ID. Customers can use one of the supplied iPads to research the available product.  

Through the next door is a larger room where customers can talk to Cannabis NB employees.

Harriman said staff will complete 100 hours of training from Canopy Growth Corp.

190 employees in all

When the stores are up and running, Harriman said, they'll employ a total of 140 people, and another 50 people will work for the Crown corporation doing jobs other than retail.

Cannabis NB outlets will have 200 different products. 

Everyone inside a CannabisNB Store must be at least 19 years old. The single-seat desk is where an employee will check identification. The table farther back in the room is equipped with iPads for customer research. (Submitted)

"Indicas, sativas, hybrids, et cetera, dry bud oils, those kind of things," Harriman said.

The stores will also sell marijuana accessories. While edibles are not expected to be legal when the stores first open, he said there is room for products to be added to the roster.

As for pricing, Harriman said he can't yet give specifics.

Still no price

"We're still finalizing that piece."

But there will be a variety of options, "much like vodka at the liquor store," he said. "You can buy a $24 bottle or you can buy a $50 bottle."

Harriman said each store is expected to bring in $3.6 million, for what he thinks will be a "healthy" gross profit. 

Rogers said work is already under way at the stores, which will each have a vault.  

"Different stores are at different states of readiness, but we're pretty much in a go mode at every location."

About the Author

Tori Weldon

Reporter

Tori Weldon is a reporter based in Moncton. She's been working for the CBC since 2008.