BRAGG CREEK— Embracing the western spirit of adventure, Cannabis Cowboy has opened the first marijuana store in the community of Bragg Creek.
Cannabis Cowboy officially opened their doors to the public on Friday (Oct. 16) and had many locals drop by to check out the new shop, said vice president of marketing and general manager Matthew Skerry.
“We had a lot of folks that came in that were curious just to see that we were finally open,” Skerry said. “It’s been a long time coming.”
Cannabis Cowboy launched about two years ago and currently has retail locations in Calgary, Edmonton, Lethbridge and Canmore.
The Bragg Creek location proved to be their best opening to date.
Bragg Creek is a great community, he said, that sees a lot of activity from tourists looking to explore the lush natural vistas of the area.
The prime location contributed to the choice to bring Cannabis Cowboy to Bragg Creek, and the fact they will be the first cannabis shop in the hamlet.
Other factors included the brand's commitment to celebrating and honouring their Albertan roots.
“We’re an Albertan company … We’re local, we like this size of a community. We like the fact we’re not in the middle of a downtown city core,” Skerry said. “We know there’s a lot of activity out here, there’s a lot of activities in the summer, in the fall, in the winter— There’s a lot of people that pass through this area.”
Skerry added he appreciates the culture in Bragg and believes the store fits into the community's rich social tapestry.
“It is a bit of cowboy town and that matches really well with us,” Skerry said. “For us, the product and our brand and our Albertan roots fit this community. We’re happy to be here— We’re certainly looking forward to a long and good future here.”
In the province of Alberta cannabis stores still face many limitations and restrictions on where they can set up shop, Skerry said, explaining that it took more than a year to secure the Bragg Creek location.
“The due-diligence process, the procedures that you go through with the Alberta Liquor and Gaming Commission, it takes time and it takes patience,” Skerry said. “There were a number of turns in the road to get here.”
As they prepared to open the Cannabis Cowboy team worked closely with local district officials to ensure “all the i’s were dotted and the t’s were crossed” during the approval process. They also closely consulted with the local community and the Alberta Liquor and Gaming Commission.
“There’s a number of different stakeholders that are all interested in how your shop is going to open and you have to make sure that you’re doing right by each and every one of them,” Skerry said.
In the end, they were proud of how the store turned out and consider the Bragg Creek location a flagship for Cowboy Cannabis.
For those visiting the store, Skerry said, they hope to encourage engaging conversations about the type of product they are looking for in an easy, open and engaging process.
“We don’t want them to stare blankly at a wall or to look at a list of 100 different strains of cannabis,” Skerry said. “We want our knowledgeable and educated staff to be able to find out exactly what each of our clients are looking for.’
In terms of demographics they have seen every age walk through the doors so far, he said, from weekend warriors out to explore the mountains, long-time locals, seniors, new parents and everything in between.
“We haven’t seen one thing or the other it really has been a cross-section of the population out here,” Skerry said.
Cowboy Cannabis features a range of products ranging in price from value to premium including traditional marijuana buds and flowers, cannabis extracts, concentrates, a wide range of edibles, vape cartridges, beverages and pre-rolled joints. All of the products are available in-store and can be ordered online for pickup.
“We want to see that menu grow and expand, but, maintain its focus on a high-quality product,” Skerry said. “It’s our goal to deliver a curated menu— We want to match the needs of what Bragg Creek is looking for.”
The cannabis products feature a mix of CBD or THC. THC provides a psychoactive high often described as a euphoric feeling, he said, and CBD provides all the benefits of the cannabis plant without the high. Skerry added, CBD is known to help alleviate pain, anxiety, sleepless and other feelings.
The one area Cowboy Cannabis strives to be different is the customer experience of those who visit. Skerry said they work to ensure everyone who enters the store feels comfortable and safe asking questions about the available products.
“It’s still very, very new and we welcome everyone to come in and check us out,” Skerry said. “We are here for the novice brand new user to the educated ‘cann-oisseur’ … This is a place where you’re going to be able to talk with an expert and have a conversation about what it is that you're looking for.”