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

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Interior Health will not expand Police and Crisis Team

Southeast Division Chief Superintendent Brad Haugli asked IH to expand the program

Haze over Okanagan and Shuswap skies may have drifted from Siberia

Few active wildifres so far this summer in B.C.

Guerrilla Gigs replacing Streetfest this summer in Revelstoke

Buy one of 30 tickets the Sunday before the Wednesday show

UPDATE: Trans-Canada Highway open to single-lane traffic west of Revelstoke due to flooding

The highway between Revelstoke and Golden is also open again

Mt. Revelstoke summit and back country closed to dogs permanently

Dogs allowed on-leash only in some other areas

VIDEO: Musqueam Chief captures captivating footage of bald eagle catching meal

‘This is why we have chosen to live here since time immemorial,’ Chief Wayne Sparrow’s nephew says

Police ramp up efforts to get impaired drivers off B.C. roads this summer

July is dedicated to the Summer CounterAttack Impaired Driving Campaign

Migrant workers stage multi-city action for full status amid COVID-19 risks

‘COVID-19 has exacerbated an existing crisis’

Shuswap resident spots waterspout near Salmon Arm

The rare weather event was spotted early in the morning on July 4.

PHOTOS: B.C.’s top doc picks up personalized Fluevog shoes, tours mural exhibition

Murals of Gratitude exhibit includes at least one portrait of Henry alongside paintings of health-care workers

Okanagan school drops ‘Rebels’ sports team name, citing links with U.S. Civil War

Name and formerly-used images “fly in the face” of the district’s human rights policy, says board chair

Seymour Arm landslide interrupts drinking water to 500 people

The July 3 slide damaged a water system and a logging road.

In troubled times: Independence Day in a land of confusion

Buffeted by invisible forces and just plain worn out, the United States of America celebrates its 244th birthday

Stop enforcing sex work laws during COVID-19, advocates say

There are provisions in Canada’s prostitution laws that make workers immune from prosecution, but not from arrest

Most Read