Article by Growth Op
“I was working as a professional choreographer and performer when the pandemic hit,” says Michele Shuster. “My entire industry was hit really hard and everyone had to pivot and come up with another way to pay the bills.”
With seven years of experience at David’s Tea and Saje Natural Wellness under her belt, going back to retail was a natural option. “A dear friend, Trish Lackey, suggested cannabis,” she says in an email. “I didn’t realize how similar essential oils and cannabis were until I realized terpenes are akin to essential oils,” says Shuster, who’s currently working as a team lead at SUPERETTE’s Toronto store location.
When not advocating the power of cannabis, Shuster loves choreographing and performing in musicals across Canada. “Every single day I miss being a part of a musical. I miss dancing all day, coming home and thinking more about dancing. But the cannabis industry has won me over. The camaraderie between budtenders is something you don’t see in many industries and I’m very proud to be a small part of this one!”
Here, she talks about how the store’s been operating despite challenges, evolving customer preferences in the face of pandemic and what products are flying off the shelves.
Buying cannabis during the lockdown
We are making sure to have conversations over the phone as detailed as if the customer was in the store with us — the store’s even installed a second phone line. Due to high turnover, we run out of some favourite products and we make sure we are ready to offer some suggestions to those seasoned in the legal market that match what they know and love.
We miss having people in our store but by adjusting and coming up with new protocols we can make sure everyone is safe and can still get what they need.
What are Canadians looking for?
Since the lockdown, I’ve noticed a shift in the type of flowers people are buying. We are seeing a boost in the sativa flower department and CBD strains. Another switch is vaping, the keyword being discreet. Some of us smoke wherever we are but for the ones who can’t be so obvious vapes are a great choice. The smell is light and dissipates so quickly that you don’t have to worry about what the neighbours might think.