The cannabis retailer, born in the pandemic, is celebrating its one year anniversary

Obtaining a retail cannabis license and opening a store was quite an accomplishment before everyone started covering their mouths. But ARCannabis even went up a notch and opened four different locations while exposed to various COVID-19 regulations.

We spoke to ARCannabis Chief Operations Officer Aaron Sinnnathamby and their regional manager Matt Chernoff, who told us how well they have done during this uncertain time.

Given the outbreak of a global pandemic

To fully understand the history of AR we need to look back at last year’s 420.
While many of us were deeply saddened by the cancellation of the annual 420 festival, the ambitious team at ARCannabis opened their first location in Vancouver on May 23rd 225 SE Marine Drive.

Image provided by ARCannabis

And just a day later, the second 1290 E 12th Avenue.

Image provided by ARCannabis

Aaron took the lead on the brand new ARCannabis team when they opened their locations when the first wave of Covid hit Vancouver. So Aaron definitely had a lot on his shoulders. To make the opening of the store a success, he had to make sure that all employees were not only trained in cannabis sales, but also kept up with Covid’s security measures to keep everyone safe.

“We were unsure. We were scared. We didn’t know how business would go. We didn’t know if the government would shut us down. We didn’t know if it was going to get any worse. We even lost some employees who were afraid of getting Covid. And all of that before we even opened our first location, ”recalled Aaron.

Then he confidently continued: “At that time there were many doubts caused by the uncertainty surrounding the pandemic. But because it was our passion and we really believe in cannabis, we knew that if we only provided the best value to our customers, we would overcome all of these challenges. ”

And ARCannabis actually overcame all of its challenges. However, it wasn’t the first time her team had been challenged to establish a retail cannabis brand. Thanks to her background as a medical pharmacy manager, the ARCannabis leadership was already experienced in developing a successful cannabis business.

Getting used to the “new normal”

Image provided by ARCannabis

Now, in addition to getting used to the regulated cannabis market, they had to learn to keep up with the government’s numerous COVID precautionary measures.

“The most important thing for us was to make sure our employees and our customers are safe,” said Aaron. “We took precautions before the government even mandated anything.”

But what are all these security measurements that they had to take?

The first step to everyone’s safety begins with ensuring that none of your employees feel uncomfortable. Therefore, all employees are subjected to a temperature test before their shift and must wear a face mask at all times. Wearing a face mask is also a requirement for all customers as the number one rule at ARCannabis is “No mask. No entry. “On the rare occasion that someone forgets to cover their face, he hands out single-use items.

The other Covid measurements include:

  • Different occupancy limits at each location
  • Plexi shields at all checkouts
  • Several disinfection stations for all employees and customers
  • Gloves for all employees who handle cash transactions
  • Social distancing routes through their businesses
  • And in general, keep up with all Work Safe BC protocols.

You can also find more information about ARCannabis’ Covid precautions in this blog post they published a few weeks ago.

In fact, it took her team a while to get used to this new normal. But by the time they got used to all the sanitary and instructive people pulling up their masks, they were settled and ready to push for more.

Loops by 2020 to 2021

More business was already on the way for ARCannabis.
Just five months after opening their first two locations, they opened their third location in Vernon, on 1800 Kalamalka Road.

Image provided by ARCannabis

A month later her fourth store followed in 6528 Victoria Drive, Vancouver.

Image provided by ARCannabis

And since March of this year they have also been holding one unique virtual cannabis cup, called ARCannabis Cupwhich is very attracted by consumers and producers all over the market.

AR’s secrets of success

So what’s your secret? How could they achieve so much in such a short time while facing so many limitations?

One of the reasons the team at ARCannabis have performed so well in these crazy times is because they have lovely young employees who are all technology based and know how to operate remotely.

“We are technicians. So we immediately adapted to using Zoom, Google Meet or TeamViewer. No problem. We stayed contactless, but operational and efficient, ”said Aaron via video chat.

Another aspect that has helped them stand out from their competitors is that, as former medical pharmacy operators, their employees have a great passion for cannabis and know what to look for when they order new products.

With a big smile on his face, Aaron explained to me that as well as being weed smokers, they are also cannabis connoisseurs.

He said, “Before we opened stores, we tested tons of legal products to see which brands to look out for. Today we take a close look at all the products to decide which ones to keep buying and which to get rid of. ”

The last and most important of her secrets is, to put it in Aaron’s words, that she “Stayed slim” during the entire time. By what he means, they prioritized their budgets for what was most important when running a retail cannabis business.

“You know, a lot of these brand new cannabis retailers invest so much money in fancy store design, but don’t care about the two most important aspects of running a cannabis store.
The customers and the staff. So we kept our stores very simple and similar to cannabis stores in the past, “explained Aaron.” This has helped us save a lot of money that we could then invest in training our staff to stock the best products on the market out. A fancy store may attract some customers, but it’s the budget tender’s product knowledge and ability to buy the best products that keep them coming back time and time again. ”

As you can see, the staff at ARCannabis are very familiar with running a retail cannabis business. What makes all of their success even more impressive is that they did all of this with just five employees at their headquarters.

The leadership of ARCannabis | Joe Le (far left), Matt Chernoff (far left), Aaron Sinnathamby (right), Tony Dinh (far right)

never give up

Now that we know how much these guys were able to achieve during the pandemic, it will be exciting to see where they go with their business when we are less constrained.

Until then we can look forward to the result of the ARCannabis Cup. The cup is ends todaySo be sure to check out Instagram: @ to see which licensed producer they crown as the first ARCannabis Cup champion.

You can also find more information about the ARCannabis Cup in my last article.

Image provided by ARCannabis

If you are already impressed with ARCannabis by the end of this article, you can look forward to another big surprise as ARCannabis is about to open its fifth store, which is exactly where a former medical pharmacy is located 1353 E 41st Avenue, Vancouver.

Image provided by ARCannabis

The new location on the 41st and Knight will have his open softly today April 20th and be big opening on April, 30th. So be sure to check out the ARCannabis store’s fifth opening in this legendary location.

And if you’re as impressed with ARCannabis as I am, be sure to check out the stores and show them some love on their Instagram.

Have you ever been to one of the ARCannabis stores?
How was your experience shopping cannabis with all the different Covid restrictions? And who do you think won the ARCannabis Cup?

Let us know your answer to these questions in the comments or contact us on Facebook or Instagram.

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