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Store Feature: Morningside, Scarborough

A discussion with Spiritleaf Scarborough

We recently sat down with Jasper Ly from Spiritleaf Scarborough to discuss what lead him to open his cannabis dispensary in Scarborough, the future of the cannabis industry and what he loves about Spiritleaf. The following interview has been slightly edited for brevity and clarity.

Get to know the hardworking business owners behind Spiritleaf and their passion for the industry! We’re featuring locally owned and operated Spiritleaf’s from coast to coast, exploring one of the reasons we are “The Peoples Cannabis Shop”.

Q: Tell us about yourself!

This store owner has a long history within the community and with the Spiritleaf brand, bringing that passion to the Scarborough community. My name is Jasper and I currently own and operate Spiritleaf Morningside, one of the first legal cannabis stores in Scarborough. Spiritleaf is currently the largest retailer by store count and the leading lifestyle brand in the Canadian recreational cannabis market. I started my journey working with Spiritleaf in 2018 as a brand ambassador and now we have grown to over 100 stores coast-to-coast. Since then, I have transitioned into operating one of the top 5 ranking stores in the GTA.

I have been recognized by the Canadian Franchise Association in an article titled “Millennials in Franchising” and secured the 2020 Community Spirit Award for our impact and efforts within our local community. I find inspiration through life experiences and looking up to role models such as Kobe Bryant and former CEOs. One interesting fact about me is that Krump dance has been a personal hobby of mine for 15 years. What I appreciate most about it is that I can still apply the lessons and skills acquired through dance toward my professional career. I enjoy searching for creative ways to grow my business and to continue to evolve with this rapidly shifting industry.

The idea of entering an industry as a first-generation retailer/entrepreneur was super exciting. Navigating regulation and the constant need to adapt was fun and full of valuable lessons.

Q: What brought you into the cannabis industry?

We opened the Spiritleaf Scarborough on October 17th, 2020, on the anniversary of legalization. We were one of the first to open in all of Scarborough and the first in the Malvern community. Finding a legal dispensary near me was next to impossible in east Toronto. Opening as a local business provided convenience, accessibility, and jobs for the Scarborough community.

Q: What are your favourite cannabis products, and why?

Shred, Pink Kush from Pure Sun Farms, Daily Special, and Sage N Sour are all local favourites. We are also seeing pre-rolls as a growing category, as well as cannabis-infused beverages. We find that edibles and drinks are a great way for people who are new to cannabis to try for the first time! Milled flower continues to be a strong category and we see more people trying craft cannabis over time.

Q: What excites you about the future of the cannabis industry?

I believe the industry will continue to grow and we are only an inch into a marathon. As regulation changes and gets updated, we believe edibles will see tremendous growth once the 10mg cap is lifted. You see this in the US market where you can purchase edibles up to 100mg and more. This will lead to more innovations in edible and beverage products.

Moreover, we believe CBD, CBN, and other components of the plant will be incorporated more as research develops. Some inevitable challenges will be a result of market saturation as more competitors enter the market. Customer service, exceptional in-person experiences and having an omnichannel marketing strategy will be key.

Q: What do you love about Spiritleaf?

I love the people, culture, and motto of Spiritleaf. I believe that just as the plant does, SL spreads peace love and harmony. I also appreciate that it is a company built on people with over 100 local owners operating and serving in their very own respective communities.

Visit Jasper and his team in-store to experience the start of something incredible.

Learn more about the recreational cannabis retail experience by visiting a Spiritleaf location near you, click here. Must be of legal age.

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