Tokyo Smoke opens new cannabis outlet in Stratford

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A visit to the Stratford Festival nearly a decade ago held up Deepak Taneja, who on Friday opened the city’s newest pottery store.

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Taneja, one of three owners of the Tokyo Smoke franchise from Stratford, saw a play nine years ago. After moving across the country, he jumped at the chance to open the store when a location in Stratford Center plaza on Ontario Street became available.

“It’s a small community, not so many people, and I always like being where there are people who are a bit together,” he said. “It attracted me to being a small community, and still is, and I’m always happy to be where I can be of service to people. “

The outlet, which is owned by Canopy Growth, will provide buyers with access to legal and recreational cannabis accessories and products, including various formats ranging from drinks, edibles and oils to dried flowers, vapes and gels. soft. The location near a grocery store and other shops offering a variety of everyday products also appealed to the owners.

“We are thrilled to open the first Tokyo Smoke in Stratford and bring the Tokyo Smoke experience to this community,” said Melissa Gallagher, Director of Franchise and Corporate Stores. “Our differentiated store design, coupled with our team of education specialists, will provide customers with a cutting-edge retail experience focused on providing tailor-made cannabis education to each customer.”

Taneja is co-owner of the Stratford store with his wife, Vaneeta Pahwa, and Arsalan Poorsina. Taneja and Pahwa had family members who used cannabis during their illness and saw its benefits first hand, which is one of the reasons they entered the cannabis retail business.

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“We think it’s not just recreational, but it helps people with other things like anxiety, cancer, or depression, and it just helps people, and that’s what we want to address.” , Taneja said.

With several cannabis stores now in the city, Taneja hopes Tokyo Smoke’s well-lit 139 square meter space will make shoppers feel comfortable walking through the doors, whether it’s to purchase a product or learn more. on the pot.

“It’s not just people for me,” he said. “I call them guests. They are not clients. They visit us like our family members would. We are here to help them. It’s more about knowing than selling the product.

“People come in, and it looks open, not crowded, so we’ve kept it bigger.”

Taneja, who hails from retail, is keen to find Stratford employees to help the local economy. It’s another way for him to give back to a city that impressed him years ago.

“Now is the time,” he said. “It was just for us, not for anyone else, because I want to be here.”

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