We recently sat down with Jeremy Cahoon, the owner of a newly branded hemp store in Airdrie aptly named Just Another Bong Shop to talk about his recent endeavor. Residents in the community will know this store by its old name Smokers Corner, but Cahoon has recently departed from the franchise to go off on his own. Listen to his story in our interview below.
Stay around till the end of the interview to receive a special discount from Just Another Bong Shop!
Where is the shop located and where’s the nearest dispensary?
Located in Airdrie, Alberta. Unit 116 400 Main Street, T4B-2N1. The closest dispensary is in the parking lot, and Rare is across the street.
Do you offer an eCommerce outlet?
No, we do not. Only because we are a brand new company. But there is some good potential for the future. Get people in the door and product on the shelf is the main objective at the moment.
Tell us about your inventory and who would get the best value from visiting your shop?
At the moment we have something for everyone from the seasoned stoners to the new consumers coming into the industry cause of legalization. Were bringing in lots of new products all the time. We are now able to bring in any kind of cleaner, glass, grinder, etc.
Before we were only able to carry two different cleaners and our glass selection was very restricted. For example, we can now bring all of our brand name grinders back such as Sharp Stones, Phoneiscians, and Cali Crushers, on top of our no-name novelty grinders.
One of our top-requested items is silicone bowls and we weren’t able to order them for years… now we can get them in for our customers with no hassle required.
Does Airdrie have any cannabis clubs, or is the culture mainly stemming in Calgary?
Airdrie does not as per the mayor and bylaw. Hoping for this to change in the near future!
Since I’ve been a kid I’ve been fascinated with owning a bong shop/hemp store. Tell us a little more about the dream coming true, some of the complications you’ve faced?
I was very excited at first to open up the shop! As a kid, you walk into your first bong shop and you think “hey I wouldn’t mind doing this”. He laughs. And then everything that came in from every new order – every new product – I was just excited to get it in and on the shelves. But as a business owner, it does get to a point where you need to buckle down and listen to your customer’s complaints and suggestions. Make sure that their needs are being met and that the customer leaves happy is priority #1 in almost any business, and it can be tough at times.
Some products you think are going to turn out great end up being duds, and with the amount of inventory we were buying with our old partners… we eventually started to run into problems. Now that we are a lot smaller, our buying power has been reduced but our quality control is going to rise substantially because of this.
What are you doing differently to bring traffic and give cannabis users a reason to come in and visit?
Well, the first step is to finish our rebrand and have a big grand reopening. We are looking into doing some giveaways and stuff as well. On top of that, we are hoping to continue working with brands such as Extract to help get the word out about us and form strong relationships with other companies across the industry.
YouTube is also a powerful platform that we want to utilize in the future and pump out quality reviews to show our customer base. I’m still fairly new to all of this stuff, but we plan on hitting social media hard on Facebook and Instagram.
What are your thoughts on cannabis in the workplace, and should regulations change, would you permit employees working under the influence of cannabis?
I mean like… Giving out a slight chuckle… being a cannabis store I believe it’s no problem for my employees to partake a little bit within reason throughout the day, but I wouldn’t know anything about the specifics.
My stance; if productivity drops or people start breaking the law (such as driving high), then I would revoke these privileges right away.
When it comes down to it if you’re helping people trying to get high, it doesn’t hurt to be a little stoned yourself, right?
We are also aware that the current employment regulations do not permit cannabis usage in the workplace, so it’s a touchy subject. We want to make sure we are running a business that’s within the guidelines. What our staff does before and after work is something that is up to them.
Is there a benefit to shopping in a local hemp shop vs online, what are some key differences?
One of the big differences between online and brick-and-mortar shops is you don’t have to wait to get your product; you get it instantly in our store. Another huge benefit is being able to talk to our staff about the products you want, and if they will fit your smoking style or particular use.
Our staff is the friendliest in the world and would be glad to show you around. And the final reason is the most important of all: Not everyone wants to buy a small bowl for their bong or one bottle of Orange Crush cleaner online.
The level of convenience your local hemp store gives you is paramount to any cannabis community. By supporting small businesses like ours, you won’t have to go online to order all the little things and potentially pay extra in shipping fees. #SupportSmallBusiness
How has legalization changed the face of hemp shops?
I would say it hurt us more than anything.
Why? I feel there used to be a sort of “stigma” around hemp/bong stores before legalization. Before there were like 2 or 3 little niche stores, now there’s like a store on every corner selling some sort of smoking product.
I’ve even had my competition or people looking to buy a smoke shop come into my store to ask for advice or pointers on how to get started. I asked them what they knew, and they told me they had no experience in the industry and we’re just looking for a business to buy in the market.
These people have no passion and no knowledge, which typically ends in buying the wrong product.
Can Extract Magazine readers have a custom discount for the shop?
Yeah for sure! If you are a reader of Extract just mention this article in-store and you’ll receive an instant 20% off most products and 10% off any electronics.
Jeremy Cahoon has supplied his community with great products and good vibes for years, and he plans to continue to grow through these legalization and rebranding pains.
A pillar for cannabis culture in Airdrie – Just Another Bong Shop is going nowhere. Stay tuned for more awesome content from this passionate and knowledgeable cannabis connoisseur. Make sure to check out the grand reopening of his store in the near future! We will be updating this article when we receive a for-sure date for the event. For now, enjoy the discounts offered here while the store transforms away from its original predecessor.