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Tonik Cannabis Reflects on Legalization

October marks five years since Canada legalized cannabis. With this anniversary coming up, and several years of operation under our belt, it is a great time to reflect on our experience in the industry. It gives an opportunity to share what we have learned, how business has changed, and our predictions for the future of cannabis retail in the years to come.

Tonik’s History

We opened our doors in April 2021 in Brantford, Ontario. Our family-run cannabis store was an idea that grew out of our sons’ experience using cannabis to treat chronic pain, a symptom of a rare genetic condition. When they began learning about the uses and benefits of THC and CBD products to treat their pain, the entire family took an interest in learning more and sought to educate themselves and the local community about the improvements cannabis can have on people’s quality of life. From this experience, Tonik Cannabis was born.

Cannabis was first legalized in October 2018 when the Government of Canada enacted The Cannabis Act. The Act strictly regulated the production, distribution, sale, import, export, and possession of cannabis for adults of legal age. This signaled a social and cultural shift away from the reliance on prohibitive measures to deter cannabis use, and the adoption of an evidence-informed public health and safety approach to cannabis sale and consumption.

When we opened our doors almost 2.5 years later, the cannabis market was saturated with many different retailers across the country. The newly accessible cannabis industry was a popular endeavor for many entrepreneurs. As cannabis stores began popping up on what seemed to be every block in our community, the competition was fierce. Many local retailers and family-run shops were forced to close their doors, unable to make it work in an overly saturated market. Despite these challenges, we were committed to making our business a success. We focused on making our store accessible to everyone in our community, providing a seamless, effortless customer service experience, and sharing our knowledge and passion for safe and informed cannabis consumption.

Shifts in the Cannabis Industry

Now that we are approaching the five-year anniversary of cannabis legalization, we have seen the industry undergo many shifts, but our mission to serve the community and deliver a customer first approach has endured. Since opening, we have learned so many important lessons that have helped us advance our business. We have learned how to best communicate with people who might be curious or hesitant about trying cannabis products. It is our goal to share our knowledge, and make newcomers feel welcome and comfortable to ask questions. As we look for ways to eliminate the stigma around cannabis usage and showcase the opportunity for folks to turn to cannabis for a variety of reasons, we aim to provide knowledgeable and personable customer service by helping our customers make properly informed decisions when selecting the right products through open conversation and understanding their unique needs.

We have also watched cannabis restrictions change. As the government has reflected on the legalization of cannabis, our industry has seen many shifts in regulations and restrictions including the amount of product individuals and companies can purchase, sell, and infuse into products. With these shifts coming on a rotating basis, we have remained informed and flexible in the sale of our products, ensuring we are aware of the changes as they come, and the reason behind them. In our store, this also means having all the information available and being able to share this news with our customers as well. This has also impacted on our ability to advertise our store and sponsor certain events in our community. As a result, we have learned to market ourselves and our products in new and innovative ways to reach our target market and keep people coming back.

Predictions for the Future of the Industry

As we mark the five-year milestone of cannabis legalization in Canada, we can look ahead to the next five years. At Tonik, we hope to continue to inform and encourage people to try cannabis if they feel it could be the right product for them. For us, this means exploring different ways to educate and engage the community and share our extensive knowledge to better serve this growing community. Additionally, we hope to remind people of the benefits derived from the safe use and consumption of cannabis products, since when used correctly, it can be the source of relief, positivity, quality of life improvement, and healing.

Additionally, we hope there is further action from the Canadian government when it comes to the adaptation of cannabis related laws. This will make it easier for stores like Tonik to operate and continue to successfully market themselves and sell the right product to customers for the right need, so they are not only safe and informed, but understand the benefits of opting for a safer alternative to the illicit cannabis market.

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