Happy faces, satisfied customers, but the future holds more competition

KJ’s Best Cannabis budtender Jason Moore organizes product. (Ben Bogstie/Terrace Standard)

KJ’s Best Cannabis arrived early to the party in northwest B.C. It was the first cannabis retail store to open not only in Terrace, but the whole region.

“We get lots of happy faces,” said Pan, KJ’s Best Cannabis manager. “I mean Terrace, the people we have, the local community we have is great.”

When the store first opened on June 19, 2019, it only sold dried flowers, pre-rolls and oil. Now the store offers vape pens, edibles and drinks.

The product selection is not the only thing that has changed in the past year. Now, KJ’s Best Cannabis competes with the provincial government’s BC Cannabis store nearby.

“Price margins are low, that I know. All retail stores in B.C. know that price margins are not huge,” said Pan.

“But competing with government being the supplier and being our competition too is kinda, you know you could say the situation, but I think its working out well for us.”

Pan said that he still sees his loyal customers coming back. He attributes that to the variety of products offered in-store and the level of customer service all five staff members deliver.

“I think we are pretty fast when a customer comes in and then we give them best service and then they walk out quick and happy, because when they see the variety of products we have is huge, it’s great compared to the BC Cannabis store, I think we have a better selection here.”

While Pan said he does not know how the government store manages inventory, he says that KJ’s Best Cannabis is set apart from the competition because the store tailors its selection based on customer requests and feedback.

The store has also taken the COVID-19 pandemic in stride. It already had a limit of 10 customers in the store at one time and has since changed that limit to five. There is hand sanitizer at the entrance and protective barriers at the front counter along with more sanitizer. Budtenders working with customers wear a face shield.

According to Pan, sales have been steady throughout the crisis. But there are more challenges on the horizon for KJ’s Best Cannabis. There are two new privately owned cannabis stores planning to open in Terrace. That would make four cannabis stores.

Pan does not know what will come, but he is not too worried based on how the store has faced challenges before.

“So far we have one competition, that’s the B.C. government. Didn’t impact us much but we’ll see when the time comes, we can’t predict. I don’t know what their selection will be like, what their margin would be like. We’ll see.”

READ MORE: Terrace’s first licensed marijuana store opens


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