Today more than ever, shoppers understand that where and how they spend their money can drive a huge impact in their community. Prairie and Luna Cannabis Co., a women-owned & operated dispensary located in Pembroke, ON, say that they’re pioneering a new way for their customers to shop for legal cannabis, and it’s something that’s been missing in the industry all this time.
With a passion to represent groups and causes that aren’t often seen in the industry, and a laser focus on education, transparency & maintaining a selection of ‘best friend quality’ products, Prairie and Luna represent the prosperous future of cannabis retail, recognizing that this moment we’re living in is calling for change and that they’re committed to being a part of the movement.
They were the only cannabis boutique shop around & open prior to legalization
Prairie and Luna started out by specializing in ceramic & porcelain smokeware, building the largest curated collection of ceramics in Canada! They were originally aimed at meeting the needs of women and offering smokeware options for people seeking a more subtle addition to their accessory collection – which at the time, was a very obvious & missing niche.
“It was a huge gap in the market. Everything was either a big weed leaf on fire, or something in hot pink for the ladies, but there was nothing that really spoke to our aesthetic” – Jenna Horth
“Best friend quality” is just one way they determine what makes it to their shelves
“It has to be good enough for us to give to one another, and it has to be good enough for us and our staff to use every day.”
The staff at Prairie and Luna hand-select and vouch for the quality of every product they bring in, including picks from their manager and cannabis farmer, nicknamed the “Terpene Queen”!
“We’re so lucky to have such a friendly and knowledgeable team.”
Education is a driving piece of their business
“If you’ve never used weed before, then it can be an intimidating process, so we try and take the intimidation out & make it as comfortable as possible.” – Quinn Bosel
Prairie and Luna have built their store to be a friendly environment that welcomes customers of all kinds. “We ask questions and feel out where the customer is with cannabis, and we try to pinpoint what products could best fit their needs. Depending on what they want to use it for, we also encourage them to come back to try a couple of different options to see which really is the most effective for them.”
Prairie and Luna have offered items like cookbooks, cannabis educational reads, and an array of smokeware & accessories in their store since they first opened, and their clientele that they have built since opening have turned into a community that advocates for cannabis normalization, participates in activities together such as high yoga, and provides support for members looking to share their experiences and ask questions.
There are ample support options for legacy & canna-curious customers if they want it
“A lot of people have never seen this kind of selection of products before, or so many different ways to use it, so they’re either coming in with no experience at all or the only experience they have is with legacy market cannabis. Frankly, it’s a whole different way of buying, so we try to hold their hand through the process if they want it”. – Quinn Bosel
“Customers of ours seem relieved to have people to ask all of their questions to, and who are knowledgeable and genuine & not just trying to sell them something. We want them to get exactly what they need.”
Prairie and Luna take a hands-on approach when it comes to matching products to their customers, but they also lead them toward their community online, where questions are encouraged and stories are shared to help one another feel comfortable about seeking support with cannabis.
Transparent & informed buying decisions are the future for Prairie and Luna shoppers
Jenna and Quinn say that the dream for their new space opening in Petawawa later this year is to provide their customers with an informational card for every licensed producer that they carry products from.
“Our goal is to be extremely transparent about the brands we’re carrying so our customers can see who exactly they’re buying from and what cause their purchase is supporting. So this means including things like gender and racial breakdown, how they are giving back to their communities, and things like whether they’re growing organic are crucial to include so that people can start making their buying decisions based on some of these parameters rather than just the THC”.
Prairie and Luna focus on carrying products from licensed producers who are women or minority-led, those who have a fair and diverse executive structure, those that have clean growing methods, as well as those who give back to their community & support charitable causes.
“We ask our LP’s for some of this information and if they don’t have it, then we ask that they dig it up for us because it’s something that we think is really important to have on hand for our customers! … It’s important that we know if they’re just as committed as we are to the growth of the industry, and in a direction that we can get behind, and that ultimately determines whether or not we’ll stock their products.”
“Customers not only have a stake in the legal industry, but they’re the most important part of it!”
The duo emphasize that understanding the power in numbers & how we can make an impact together as a community is absolutely huge in the cannabis space today.
“There is so much power from the consumer standpoint. If you don’t love the direction that the industry is moving toward, then you have the power to change that!” – Quinn Bosel
Acknowledging privilege and using their position to power change
“This industry is growing so rapidly and it’s important to us that we support the right people. We’re very cognizant that we are white women in the industry, and we were able to get our retail license because we’ve never been criminalized with cannabis before, which isn’t the case for everyone, and that’s a privilege that we absolutely acknowledge.” – Jenna Horth
“People around us see our vision and the passion for what we’re doing and know that we’re not in it for the money. We’re very passionate about creating access to quality cannabis, and people, especially women in the industry, have gone out of their way to be welcoming and supportive of us.”
Emphasis on building community, not competition
“There is so much growth to be had and collaboration potential with other retailers and people in the industry, that we need to see each other in a non-adversarial way… We (retailers) face all the same hurdles and all the same struggles, and it’s such a unique position to be in – there is so much community to be had.” – Quinn Bosel
“We’re building this industry together & from the ground up.” By focusing on the industry as a whole, as well as the success of your own business is a balancing act, but for the industry to thrive & for it to feel welcoming to other people, then being brave and building these relationships with one another is crucial.
A HUGE thank you goes out to Jenna Horth and Quinn Bosel of Prairie and Luna Cannabis Co. for taking the time to speak with us about their incredible journey with cannabis in their community!