Lit: Toronto’s Blunt & Cherry

  • kind: What first attracted you to the cannabis industry and how did you get your start?

    Blunt & Cherry: As a CPA and realtor, I was first introduced to the industry through clients that had an interest in participating in the crazy lottery system when the retail industry first launched in Ontario. Once Ontario announced an open licensing system, we realized that a successful business model must center on the consumer experience, something that was vastly lacking in the retail stores that opened in the first year. Gone are the days that a retail cannabis brand will succeed with the mentality of “if you build it, they will come.”

    Blunt & Cherry is home to Toronto’s first and only Cannabar. We are an education-focused retailer aiming to be a go-to destination for product discovery, education, and community. Through our unique consumer experience, designed to take shoppers down a purchasing path that places the right products in their hands, our aim is to simplify the world of cannabis for long-time users and beginners, acting not just as a retailer, but as an educator as well.

  • k: What did you see in your early heady days and how has your perception of the legal industry changed as the industry matured?

    k: What did you see in your early heady days and how has your perception of the legal industry changed as the industry matured?

    B&C: In the early days, the stigma that went with cannabis was prevalent from our dealings with landlords, neighbours, and even friends and family. As our concept developed and our flagship store was built, we were able to showcase our beautiful wood and industrial accent designs and amazing artwork from local talent. Our team has done an incredible job of categorizing cannabis products in a unique and easy to understand method that has really helped our customers find their path:

    ● tBlunt & Cherry Potency Scale: developed by the team to help consumers choose the right cannabis strength for them. Whether they are a beginner or a connoisseur, navigating cannabis potency can be challenging. Blunt & Cherry’s colour scale acts as a visual aid to simplify your shopping experience. Each colour represents a range of THC present in any product.

    ● tPuff Puff Path: Blunt & Cherry’s paths are categorized to help consumers identify what each cannabis product is designed for. They have created the paths to help shoppers easily find a product that matches their desired effect.

    ○ tRock & Roll: Arousal | Party | Social Settings | Upbeat

    ○ tTake it Easy: Relaxation | Silences | Unwinding | Calm

    ○ tRise and Shine: Energy | Focus | Drive | Activity

    ○ tHead in the Clouds: Creativity | Productivity | Imagination | Innovation

    ○. Sweet Dreams: Sleep | Recharge | Relieve | Soothe

    As the legal industry matured, the challenges focused on the consumer perception that legal cannabis is of an inferior quality and/or the prices are too high. We are constantly updating our offerings to provide the best quality and value as well as bringing in unique and beautiful accessories.

  • k: Who is your typical customer and what do they buy?

    B&C: Being in Toronto’s hottest entertainment district and proximity to the financial centre, our customer base comprises young professionals, construction workers, and people in the hospitality industry. While our best sellers are flower and pre-rolls, vapes have been increasing in popularity due to their sleek and discreet design. We have also seen a significant rise in purchases of CBD only products.

  • k: Valentine’s Day coming up, what products do you recommend for a cozy night in?

    B&C: Treat yo’ self with an invigorating bath by adding in the THC Ylang Ylang BathSalts by Latitude. While relaxing, you and yours should indulge with a bag ofWedding Cake by Wink, it’s the perfect strain to set the mood. It’s an indica so it has the potential to induce relaxation while enhancing tactile sensations, but not heavy enough to put you to sleep. The Sexpot Intimacy Oil by Latitude would be the cherry on top of the perfect Valentine’s Day.

  • k: What products are the Blunt & Cherry team most excited about for 2021 in general? Any personal favourites?

    B&C: We are excited to see the industry tackle environmental challenges regarding packaging and all the while keeping your flower fresh. We are also super excited to see the need and want for education surrounding cannabis. On a personal level, we’re looking forward to seeing more extracts such as live resin and shatter hit the market.

  • k: What was your big take away from your initial experience which helped guide what you're doing today?

    B&C: The lack of information and misinformation provided in the illegal market has done a lot to stigmatize the cannabis industry. Products are advertised with extremely high THC levels and the non-homogeneous production process has given consumers an unpredictable result in their usage. We constantly have tore-educate our customers so that they understand dosages and the fact that higher THC percentage may not give them the result that they want.

  • k: What experiences have you had that are unique to a female-operated shop here in Ontario, or in general?

    B&C: The cannabis industry is quite male dominated. It is especially rare to have a female in an executive position, and I am frequently the only female in meetings. I often do not introduce myself as the owner in meetings, so this gives me an opportunity to access the individuals without them noticing!

  • k: Do you have any advice for other women looking to pursue a career in cannabis?

    B&C: My advice to women is to be confident in your abilities and surround yourself with a team that respects you.

  • k: Explain to us what the Blunt & Cherry brand “is,” and why it’s different from everything else on the market?

    B&C: Blunt & Cherry is focused on the experience for our consumers rather than just being a retail vendor. We have a stunning space for our customers to browse and shop without feeling rushed. Our Cannabar is stocked with new and exciting products and we are proud to have some of the most knowledgeable budtenders in town.

  • k: What is your mission?

    B&C: Our mission is to create a safe space to educate our customers and ensure they are walking out the door with products that best suit the experience they are looking for.

  • k: How can the market be disrupted?

    B&C: The market could be disrupted from the top down. Should the Ontario Government allow cannabis retailers to keep the option for delivery post pandemic, this could really help retailers stand out during this “Green Rush.”

  • k: What are your short, medium and long-term plans for the brand?

    B&C: Our short-term goal is to re-open in-store operations and help return Toronto back to its glorious, vibrant, and bustling community. In the medium term, we look to expand our retail footprint to three to five stores, becoming the Toronto/GTA’s go-to neighbourhood Cannabis bar. Our long-term goal is to add the missing hospitality element into the retail sector and lead the industry in educating the public.

  • k: How has COVID changed up what you’re doing/what you’re trying to do?

    B&C: Blunt & Cherry is all about putting customer experience and engagement first.Since we have not been able to engage with our customers in the traditional manner, we’ve had to get creative! We are hosting virtual pop-up and knowledge sessions on a regular basis. We are also working with different industry influencers to increase our online presence to engage with more cannabis lovers. For example, we recently teamed up DJ Andre 905, the official DJ of Raptors 905, to create a playlist as part of our Volume: High playlist series. The pandemic shut down Blunt & Cherry's shop, which would have served as a venue for artists to share and showcase their work. We hope that by helping spread the word about the talent in our city, we'll be able to put the spotlight on the artists making waves all over the GTA - community is a core pillar of brand values.

  • k: And lastly, look into your crystal ball: what will the retail experience in Canada look like at the end of this year?

    B&C: With the end of the pandemic in sight, people will be thirsty for engagement and in-person interaction. Our retail experience already has a strong educational element and relaxed atmosphere, but we are also looking to add some hands-on classes completely tailored to the customer. Come on in and take a seat at the Cannabar and ask us those burning questions that you may feel intimidated asking elsewhere.

Check out Blunt & Cherry online here
64 Spadina AvenToronto, ONn416-977-9343