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The nearly 2,000 square-foot cannabis retail space set to open on January 12 will feature an efficient system for curbside pickup and home delivery services.

KITCHENER, ON | January 12, 2021 — The year of 2020 presented challenges for business owners across countless industries, forcing readjustments of initial opening dates and annual sales goals. Among these businesses is Highland Cannabis, a cannabis retailer originally set to open in 2020. Despite months of setbacks and challenges, the large cannabis shop located on Highland Road in Kitchener is thrilled to announce its official opening on January 12, exclusively offering curbside pickup and home delivery.

“With the newly announced lockdown we had to remain agile and adjust our plans yet again. Highland Cannabis will ‘soft-launch’ during the lockdown offering curbside pickup and home delivery starting January 12,” says Highland Cannabis CEO Owen Allerton.

“In addition to accepting online orders, we got creative and brought the inside of our store, outside. Our budtenders will be curbside with tablets, under a tent, helping customers and taking orders, while remaining physically distanced. Staff located inside the store will immediately package the orders and bring them to the temporary pick up window we’ve built in our front door where the customer can complete the purchase. The grand opening will take place once the lockdown is over, but this gives us a great way to start serving the community immediately,” explains Owen.

Owners Owen and Niki Allerton persevered through several obstacles to get to this point. Although later than expected, the Allertons used the delays as an opportunity to curate an all-star team through a virtual job fair, receiving over 600 applicants in the span of one week alone. They have since added 40 jobs to the Kitchener community. In preparation for the grand opening, Owen and Niki have also integrated several COVID-19 safety features into the space to ensure employee and customer safety.

“Building our store during the pandemic gave us the opportunity to truly build it to be as COVID safe as possible for our customers and staff,” says Niki.

Working with award winning local designer, Benjamin John Ouellette, the store layout was developed to allow for physical distancing and a great shopping experience, including a dedicated online order window for efficient and safe pickup. In addition to the usual measures such as face masks and protective shields, the store also features built-in, state of the art, hospital grade air-filtration systems, which actively and continuously remove COVID-19 particles from the air.

“We made the decision to invest in air filtration early on, and we’re fortunate we did. Studies have now shown HEPA air filtration is the best preventative measure, and as a result, there is a one-year waiting list to obtain the systems we have installed.”

Randall Weber, Vice President at Air Technology Solutions Canada brought air filtration to the Allerton’s attention early in the design and build-out process and supplied the MICRON air filtration units installed in Highland Cannabis.

“Numerous studies have shown that HEPA combined with Germicidal UVC air filtration is the best defense against COVID-19. Highland Cannabis has made an incredible investment in this area, as their air filtration units are enough to adequately cover a store twice their size. It’s probably the best protected indoor space in the region,” explains Randall.

In addition to its numerous safety features, Highland Cannabis is designed for quick service and offers a personalized shopping experience where a team of personal shoppers (budtenders) help customers select products and answer any questions. The store offers a wide variety of products, ranging from premium strains, including locally grown and organic, to new value brands featuring high levels of THC for prices now as low as illicit market prices. All of these options come in formats such as bulk packaged flower, pre-rolled joints, edibles, oils and CBD and THC beverages.

“Despite the challenges we faced, we are thankful for the opportunity to have had the time to make our store as safe as possible. We are so excited for this new chapter and to start 2021 on a high note.”

The setbacks that Highland Cannabis faced during 2020 were used as motivation to build a new chapter for the Allerton family and for cannabis in the community in 2021. The long-awaited grand opening of Highland Cannabis serves as a milestone in the Allerton’s personal lives and for the Kitchener community.