Starting April 15, New Hamburg residents will be able to buy cannabis products at VIP Cannabis at their new downtown location, 96 Huron Street.
Customers can purchase products from categories such as dried flowers, pre-rolls, topicals (creams and lotions), concentrates, vapes, edibles and beverages – but during the stay at home order they will only be offering curbside pickup and delivery.
The shop will be set up and run by people like Amun Bhatti, the district manager, who also works at other VIP Vape and VIP Cannabis locations.
Bhatti is a resident of Kitchener and has about five to six years of experience in the vape industry and joined the cannabis industry about six months ago. He studied police foundations and truck and coach maintenance at Conestoga College before shifting careers and focusing on the vape and cannabis industries.
At VIP Cannabis, Bhatti and other employees will be using the first month or so to see what products New Hamburg customers like and dislike, in order to determine what products to keep in their inventory.
“One thing that we try to do is ask customers what specific items they’re looking for and if they’re readily available or we can make them available,” says Bhatti in an interview.
When asked why VIP Cannabis is opening during a critical time in the COVID-19 pandemic, Bhatti says they already had plans to open the store before the stay at home order was set in place, and they want to give residents the opportunity to purchase cannabis products.
They will also be hiring in the next few weeks as they hope to have about two employees working at once, and about five or six staff overall.
Like Bhatti said, one of their main goals is figuring out what products are the most popular in the New Hamburg community so don’t be surprised if their inventory is a little low at the beginning. As people tell them what products they want, inventory of these items will grow.
VIP Cannabis is not only the first cannabis store in New Hamburg, but they also were the first to operate a store in Hanover. Although Bhatti likes the fact that they’re the first cannabis shop to open in these towns, he also sees perks in having competition.
“It’s nice to see when the other stores open up. It’s cool to see what kind of things they bring as well,” says Bhatti. “And we can kind of adjust our inventory as well, like whether we think something wasn’t needed to be carried because these guys are carrying it.”
Until April 15, Bhatti and employees of VIP Cannabis will continue setting up the store and preparing for customer orders.
Written by Nadine Seyler