Company: Avenue Cannabis.
Type: Non-Medical Cannabis Retail Store BC.
Thrive Liquor & Cannabis Advisors worked closely with Avenue Cannabis on fulfilling cannabis license requirements, guidance and education, and public consultation preparation.
Thrive Advisors provided the following:
- LCRB application completion
- Municipal application for temporary-use permit
- Public information meeting preparation prior to municipal Council meeting
- Preparation for Council meeting, public consultation and presentation to Council
- Pre-site inspection after construction in preparation for provincial inspection and was a sounding board for owners, their designers and marketing team
While starting any business is challenging, starting a retail cannabis business in BC is a maze of challenges that require patience, agility and understanding to navigate. A non-medical cannabis application is far more complex than a single document being submitted by a hopeful start-up. The application itself is the first big step, and Council and public approval the last stride, in a lengthy and involved journey.
Avenue Cannabis serves as an example of how to do it right. Company principals were engaged throughout the process and worked in close partnership with Thrive Advisors. They were willing to do everything required, the right way, the first time, to secure cannabis license approval.
About Avenue Cannabis
Avenue Cannabis is a family-owned business whose owners were born and raised in West Vancouver and have been promoting the new business within the Ambleside community. From the outset, their vision was much more than profiting in the retail cannabis sector. Of equal importance, Avenue Cannabis wanted to contribute positively and responsibly to the social and economic fabric of the neighbourhood and provide a living wage that would support and sustain team members who live in the community.
“This is our home, we are building our families and raising our children here. Avenue comes with the serious responsibility and commitment to understanding and providing a lot more than just products for our customers. Above all, we value education, safety and wellness in an ever-expanding field.” – Our Story, Avenue Cannabis.
Visit Avenue Cannabis.
Non-medical cannabis store start-ups face many challenges, not the least of which is scrutiny from the Liquor & Cannabis Regulation Branch (LCRB), municipal government, and the public. Competition for application approval from many other hopeful start-ups is another challenge that must be addressed. An application-phase marketing plan is necessary. At this point on the path to licensing approval, a start-up’s value-proposition will be tailored to government and the public. Well designed communication for Council and public consultation makes a business stand out as the most attractive candidate for few available licenses.
The cannabis licence application process was highly competitive in the West Vancouver municipality. The Avenue Cannabis application was first submitted to Council in the fall of 2020. Another company submitted their application shortly thereafter. Council held these two applications for review pending other applicant submissions. A total of ten submissions were received for review and consideration and only two licenses were granted.
Thrive Advisors helped meet these challenges by:
- Providing education about the application process, LCRB and municipal government processes and expectations, and public consultation. This was the first cannabis store application the family owners had undertaken.
- Providing ongoing guidance and feedback from the initial stages until license approval. Thrive acted as a sounding board and provided recommendations at each step.
- Managing expectations about timelines. Government processes can be slow and patience is needed. The owners were used to processes that get businesses up and running quickly.
- Helping tailor the company’s communications so they focus on the positive effects the business would have in the community. Those positives included the company’s family and community focus, the cannabis store’s upscale boutique design (an appropriate fit for the neighbourhood’s commercial centre), and provision of employment and livable wages to local community members.
The Thrive Liquor & Cannabis Advisors Solution
Thrive Liquor & Cannabis Advisors was integral to the cannabis license application process, ensuring that:
- A comprehensive, detailed application was submitted to LCRB, which prevented application processing delays and shortened the time to approval. A suitability approval and request for local government acceptance was granted within three months from the time of submission.
- A complete application with all supporting documentation was submitted to the municipality, surpassing requirements, which prevented unnecessary delays. A clear and concise presentation was created for the public information meeting. The presentation emphasized the benefits Avenue Cannabis would bring to the community while answering the public’s questions clearly. Central themes of the presentation included: local family ownership and community-mindedness, company focus on education, safety and wellness, local employment with livable wages, and enhancement of the local retail experience.While the client presented at public consultation, Thrive Advisors worked with the team to refine the presentation messaging and prioritization of information, created a road map through the process, explained next steps and requirements, and clarified what was needed to meet or exceed the expectations of both the municipality and the community.View the Avenue Cannabis presentation PDF.
- The Avenue Cannabis owners educated themselves about LCRB/municipal compliance and enforcement so they could differentiate themselves from less engaged cannabis store owners.
Out of the ten applications submitted to the City of West Vancouver, Council approved two, including that of Avenue Cannabis. The two approved applicants met planning guidelines, understood the importance of compliance and enforcement, as well as council and community expectations with regard to employment, a living wage, and fitting into and enhancing Ambleside’s commercial centre.
Avenue Cannabis is open for business and has become a welcome member of the local business community.
Retail Cannabis Stores Succeed with Thrive Advisors on Their Team
Thrive Liquor & Cannabis Advisors provides services to retail cannabis store start-ups and cannabis licensees. Its retail cannabis consultants do the heavy lifting so you can focus on your vision. Thrive’s work helps ensure cannabis license application approval and municipal approval. They don’t stop there, however, they often work with cannabis stores throughout the lifetime of their business, providing ongoing license and compliance checks, and operational strategy.
If you’re looking for trusted advisors who work in partnership with you to ensure the success of your business, let’s talk.
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