As Ontario prepares for the launch of cannabis retail sales on April 1, 2019, Lift & Co. Corp. has granted more than 600 CannSell certificates to the Province’s aspiring cannabis retail employees since launching CannSell just over one month ago. In total, more than 1,500 Ontarians have created a CannSell profile, and nearly 800 have enrolled in the mandatory, accredited training program that the CBC calls “like Smart Serve, but for cannabis.” Interest in CannSell has accelerated leading up to the opening of Ontario retail stores on April 1, with more than a third of CannSell sales and certificates coming within the last week.
Today’s announced numbers signal an overwhelming demand by prospective budtenders to enter the industry and the Company’s ability to influence them through CannSell. Cannabis retail employees play a central role in cannabis purchases. A recent U.S. surveyi indicates that more than 90% of consumers strongly consider the retail employee’s recommendation when making a cannabis purchase.
For cannabis producers, this news confirms the success of Lift & Co.’s exclusive approval by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (“AGCO”) for training and communication to all cannabis retail employees. The Company is actively leveraging this exclusive access to Ontario’s ‘budtenders’ by developing supplementary data products and training modules, providing a compliant trade marketing solution for cannabis businesses that are otherwise severely restricted in their capacity to market their brands.
“Today we proudly announce that, through CannSell, Ontario’s private retail employees are ready to responsibly empower consumers’ cannabis decisions,” said Matei Olaru, CEO of Lift & Co. “CannSell is indisputably shaping the private retail experience in Canada’s largest market, and by extension, shaping the entire industry. We are thrilled with the overwhelming interest in the program and are excited to scale it through complementary branded training modules.”
CannSell (cannsell.ca, cannsell.ca/fr) launched on February 25, 2019, as the only approved training program by the AGCO. CannSell was developed in an exclusive partnership with MADD Canada, the country’s leading voice on the prevention of impaired driving. CannSell training consists of a self-guided eLearning certification program, delivered through a Lift & Co.-branded learning management system (“LMS”), offered in both English and French. CannSell retails for $49.99 CAD + tax and is compatible across desktop, tablet and mobile. To successfully obtain CannSell certification, students are required to earn at least 80 per cent on the final exam, administered digitally as part of the LMS at the conclusion of the training modules.
The overarching objective of CannSell is to educate cannabis retail employees on the responsible sale of cannabis, as well as their legal and regulatory obligations. CannSell also provides basic knowledge about cannabis to ensure that those who are selling it understand its various forms, effects and the potential risks and harms of cannabis use.
Lift & Co. also launched CannSell Expert on March 18, 2019, which has already created high demand. CannSell Expert is an advanced certification program available to cannabis retailers across Canada, essential to providing staff with the deeper cannabis knowledge necessary for superlative customer service in areas of product knowledge, plant genetics and consumption methods. CannSell Expert takes approximately 25 hours to complete and retails for $449.99 CAD + tax.
In addition to CannSell Ontario, Lift & Co. retail training is being utilized by the Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation, Prince Edward Island Cannabis Management Corporation and by numerous private retailers across the country.