Tucked in amongst the swanky shops on South Granville, a new kid on the block hopes to bring new meaning to the term high-end retail.
"Being in the neighbourhood, the community has been super welcoming,” said Muse Canada president Geoff Dear as he stood in the middle of his company’s first recreational cannabis store.
Dear said the company had to clear a lot of red tape to get to this point and he’s happy to be finally serving customers.
Still, he said now that the store is open, some of the rules around recreational pot sales make it difficult to draw people in to the business.
"Opaque window coverings and the inability to advertise,” he cited as examples. “It's really hard to get up and rolling and gain momentum as a new business when it takes a long time to get open...and then you're finally open and you can't really tell people, it's pretty challenging."
It’s also against the law to have open cannabis containers in the store and consequently, Muse can’t legally start a planned recycling program for the plastic and metal the cannabis comes in.
Over in Kitsilano, Evergreen Cannabis was one of the first two legal recreational cannabis shops to open in the city six months ago.
Even though it’s technically against the rules. the store does accept used containers.
"We keep the recycling box in our storage area. You bring us the packaging, make sure it's clean, we take it from you, we throw it into the bin,” said co-owner Mike Babins.
He said the road to legal cannabis has been a bumpy journey so far, but credits the municipal and provincial governments with being receptive to suggestions for improvement.
"Telling them this form needs to be fixed, that needs to be fixed,” he said. “This is an issue you need to work on...and they've been really open to working with us."