Congratulations to me! I'm very excited to be joining the team at the soon-to-be-opened Cannabis Cottage in Penticton, BC! This will be my first position in the new Cannabis industry in the Okanagan and I'm just SO excited to get involved and help the industry grow. I truly believe the model we see with wine in the Okanagan can be replicated with Cannabis at the helm. Our potential is huge, and I'm stoked to enter the arena and help it grow.
Here's an interview with my soon-to-be-boss, Mariana Wolff. Whose interviewing who here? haha! Anyway, let's learn a little more about Mariana, her experience, her favourite munchie snacks, and more!
What is your history with Cannabis?
I began a hobbyist grower and recreational consumer relationship with cannabis as a teenager. Growing up my parents lived in the boonies so my siblings and I had our green babies out in the backyard which was also the BC forest. Cannabis thrives well in the Okanagan sunshine so it was easy to get hooked on the farming hobby. I began my professional relationship with cannabis after university where I began working for cannabis consulting firms in the Okanagan. I assisted clients with various types of consulting from including optimization of tissue culture propagation to building and submitting application to produce cannabis at commercial level.
What made you decide to get into the industry?
When the intent to legalize cannabis was announced, I pitched the idea of applying for a non-medical retail sales license to my husband. I figured if I could help clients prepare and streamline their license applications for Health Canada, I could certainly do this for myself. Between my husband’s strong business background and my knowledge and experience with the legal cannabis industry in Canada we felt confident pursuing this venture.
What has been the biggest challenge in getting your shop opened?
Most people would agree that opening a legal cannabis shop is not like opening a shoe store and certainly not like opening an illegal cannabis shop. The level of red tape that we have had to wade through at the provincial and municipal levels of government have been almost so overwhelming that at times it has seemed like this ship was never going to sail. Couple that with a headache of renovating an old building that required even more red tape (city permits and trying to bring an outdated structure up to current building codes) and it’s enough to make anyone’s head spin.
How long has the whole process taken?
Our first step was incorporation which we did in March of 2018 and we have been holding a lease down on the building since August 2018. It has been over a year since we embarked on this journey but things really didn’t get rolling until we submitted our application to the province in November 2018. Since then it has been a revolving door of hurry up and wait. Things are either a frantic panic or a stand still where we wait as patiently as possible for word on the next step.
What excites you the most about Cannabis?
I absolutely love the opportunity to be an active participant in the evolution of such a promising yet controversial new industry in Canada. I especially love that Canada is a pioneer on the international stage in this regard.
What is your preferred strain and method of consumption?
My preferences have changed regularly but right now I am very fond of Tangerine Dream. I just love that citrusy bouquet that seems to linger even when smoking in a joint, my preferred method of consumption.
What is your favourite munchie food?
Since it’s hot as hell out these days, I’m a very large fan of Dairy Queen, particularly the Jack and Jill sundae, hot fudge sundae with melted marshmallow topping, extra hot fudge, extra melted marshmallow.
Any other info or news you’d like to share?
A very big motivator in all this has been our daughter, I want to build something substantial that contributes to the development of the legal cannabis industry, to share safe and quality product with those eager to explore. As a family run establishment, what my husband and I build here, with the help of family and friends, will ultimately belong to our daughter should she choose to have it.
If you'd like to visit Cannabis Cottage online click here.
To visit them in person head down to 385 Martin Street, Penticton BC. To see a map click here.