B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix has asked that the public consider their “civic responsibility” and adopt as many safety measures as they can.
The COVID-19 pandemic is closing cannabis stores all over Canada, but Kiaro, the first legal cannabis store in Port Moody, B.C., is moving forward with the planned grand opening on Mar. 20 and is expecting a solid turn-out.
“Customers have spoken. They desire access to legal cannabis channels and our store managers are providing access while ensuring health and safety is paramount for team members and customers,” Eleanor Lynch, vice-president of operations for the cannabis retailer, which has stores in Saskatchewan and B.C., told The GrowthOp.
“All of our store locations remain open following the guidelines and protocols put in place by Canadian public health agencies, in order to provide access to legal cannabis to each community where we operate,” Lynch said.
Of course, those guidelines could change at any time, especially now that B.C. has declared a state of emergency.
Nonetheless, Lynch said the shelves will be fully stocked for the opening, and that the shop has enacted a variety of measures to keep staff and clients safe in the face of COVID-19.
Measures include increasing the frequency of cleaning, especially in high-touch areas; promoting “enhanced hygiene practices” with store staff, such as increased handwashing; limiting the number of customers allowed in-store at one time; providing a “touchless” shopping experience as much as possible; de-activating bud and terpene walls in-store; mandating that sick employees stay home; and “adhering to any directions provided from Canadian agencies to businesses and citizens.”
Customers are also being asked to take precautions when shopping at the store, including increased handwashing and maintaining a distance from other customers, as well as suggesting that clients “bump elbows or tap feet” in lieu of shaking hands.
As an extra precaution, staff request that “any customer feeling unwell not shop with us at this time,” said Lynch, adding that clients should call ahead before planning their tip to the store as “some Kiaro stores may have reduced hours at this time.”
Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry told reporters Wednesday that maintaining social distancing was vital to mitigating the spread of the illness.
“I think we will fundamentally change some of the ways we are doing things, until we have a vaccine, until we have an effective treatment for this,” said Dr. Henry.
B.C. health minister Adrian Dix has asked that the public consider their “civic responsibility” and adopt as many safety measures as possible, such as maintaining social distancing and staying home whenever possible.
“For anyone who hasn’t joined in this effort, who has been reluctant to join in these very explicit measures we can do to help one another, to help protect one another’s heath, I say it’s not too late to join the fight,” Dix said. “We need you to join in, we need you to do it now, today, this moment, without judgment.”
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Written by Emma Spears