On March 8, 2022, the Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis Commission (AGLC) shut down its online website for cannabis consumers. This allowed private cannabis retailers in Alberta to legally sell products online and provide cannabis delivery services in the province. Sales soared, but retailers had to navigate various regulatory requirements to ensure compliance with strict online age screening and other measures.
Based in Edmonton Daikoku was one of the first cannabis dispensaries in Alberta to be AGLC approved for online sale and delivery. With the help of Cova and our e-commerce partner, Dabber, they launched online cannabis sales long before other cannabis stores in the province. We recently caught up with Mireille Tessier, founder of Daikoku, to learn more about her entrepreneurial journey in cannabis and why she chose Cova as Daikoku’s technology partner.
Cannabis Legalization in Canada: From Quebec to Alberta
A trained and professionally trained chef, Mireille has always been very passionate about cannabis and dreamed of opening a cafe-style cannabis store in Amsterdam, Canada. When Canada has legalized recreational cannabis in 2018 and Quebec decided not to privatize it but to set it up as a crown corporation to operate province-owned cannabis stores, Mireille and her husband decided to sell everything they owned in Montreal and moved to Edmonton to begin their entrepreneurial journey in the nascent cannabis retail industry. They chose the name Daikoku, the Japanese god of wealth and fortune, to soak up his spirit by sharing their wealth of cannabis knowledge and facilitating great experiences for their customers.
“People don’t go to a cannabis store to buy weed, they go there for an experience. At Daikoku, we strive to provide the experience our customers are looking for”said Mireille.
The search for a compliant cannabis point-of-sale system in Alberta
Although the Daikoku team began operations in late 2018 selling cannabis accessories in their store, they did not officially start selling cannabis products until May 2019 due to regulatory delays. from Alberta. To add to these initial hurdles, their first choice cannabis POS was quite disappointing with frequent POS system crashes and no customer support system. They also tried using a generic POS system, but soon found they couldn’t generate compliance reports for AGLC. After going to Cova POS more than two years ago, everything went well for Mireille and the Daikoku team.
“Whenever the AGLC launches a new compliance report, Cova is already aware and pivots quickly to have everything ready for us well ahead of time. I don’t even have to ask”mentions Mireille about Cova’s compliance capabilities.
Navigating E-Commerce and Cannabis Delivery Regulations
With Alberta’s strict age control measures for online cannabis stores, a simple self-declared age system used by many retailers in other provinces is illegal and consumers are generally required to have their identity verified. in-store before you can even browse cannabis products online. When Alberta decided to allow private retailers to sell cannabis online earlier this year, very few cannabis e-commerce platforms were able to provide a suitable solution that met all the compliance requirements set by the AGLC. This was especially difficult because retailers are also required to host their cannabis e-commerce store on their own domain and cannot use a third-party marketplace. dab was able to come up with the perfect cannabis e-commerce solution for Daikoku, and Mireille was impressed with the perfection of the system and how the team was able to get their store online in no time. Many Alberta retailers deliver cannabis without a valid age restriction solution on their website, exposing themselves to various compliance risks, but Daikoku has strengthened itself for the future.
“What I love about the Dabber team is that they always come up with smart solutions, whether it’s leveraging cannabis SEO or just making sure we stay ahead of the game. advance on any regulatory change”said Mireille.
Cova’s impeccable customer support and technical ecosystem
In over 2 years with Cova, one thing that has stood out for Mireille is our amazing customer support team who have always been there for Daikoku when needed to fix troubleshooting issues or train the team on new features. . Also, Cova Seamless e-commerce Integration with Dabber has allowed Daikoku to quickly streamline its online sales and efficiently manage inventory while being able to display relevant product information and proper branding on its online cannabis store. Other advanced features such as Cova’s offline mode, open APIs for easy configuration with other cannabis tech ecosystem solutions, and custom reporting for their business really won them over.
“Since our time with Cova, we have changed digital menu providers three times, but Cova’s point of sale has always seamlessly integrated with each of the solutions. Cova’s partnerships with various other cannabis technology solutions allow us to help plug and play the way we want,” mentions Mireille.
Organize an improved customer experience with the right partners
From realizing a lifelong dream of being an entrepreneur in the cannabis industry to deliver legal cannabis at customers’ doorsteps, Mireille has come a long way, as she works on her next big project to improve the customer experience even further by introducing a cannabis subscription model at Daikoku. And she’s confident she has the right technology partners to help curate a unique cannabis-consuming experience at Daikoku.
“Cova is my longest-serving technology partner and I really appreciate the relationship we have built. No other cannabis technology company stays ahead of the curve like Cova does”says Mireille.
With ever-changing laws and regulations in the dynamic legal cannabis industry, it is necessary to have a technology partner that can pivot quickly and provide you with a compliant solution to help grow your cannabis business. Cova and our constant expansion partner technology ecosystem allow you to do this and much more. Click below to find out more.
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