In November 2021, New Brunswick introduced legislation that allowed Health Canada Licensed Producers, who carry a Sales License under the Cannabis Act, to launch their farmgate operations. E.C.O. Canadian organic inc, owned by Denise and Brent Hannay, is a Health Canada-approved licensed cannabis producer that became the second company in New Brunswick to launch a farmgate cannabis retail store named E.C.O. Trading Post. With an emphasis on growing certified clean green organic cannabis, E.C.O. is bringing the same ethos to their cannabis farmgate business by providing the most premium cannabis products to their customers. Cova recently caught up with Denise and E.C.O. Trading Post’s store manager, Danika, to learn more about their mission, the team behind the scenes, and the secrets to their resounding success.
From Cultivation to Retail: A Local Cannabis Business in New Brunswick
With over two years in the cannabis industry, E.C.O.'s team has learned a lot about the demand for high-quality craft cannabis amongst consumers. So, when New Brunswick allowed farmgate cannabis stores, it was a no-brainer for them to launch their retail operations. As the 22nd legal cannabis store in New Brunswick and the second privately-owned shop, they are proud to be a fully locally-owned business, growing craft cannabis on provincial land and catering to New Brunswickers. With the ever-changing regulations and compliance complexities involved in the cannabis industry, the team is happy that they were able to expand their business into retail quite efficiently last year, with quick license approval and help from their cannabis technology partner, Cova, that guided them in the right direction.
“The software we use for reporting to Health Canada is only for the cultivation side of the business. But on the retail side of things with Cova, compliance is extremely straightforward and makes my life much easier.”, says Denise, wishing that she had a software platform like Cova to meet compliance needs as a licensed producer.
Behind the Joint Success: People and Technology go Hand in Hand
As a small team, they all wear multiple hats at E.C.O., but the right technology partner has certainly facilitated daily retail operations and cannabis compliance. Danika, who worked previously at the provincial store, Cannabis N.B., is now the store manager at E.C.O. Trading Post and has been instrumental in the retail store’s continued growth and success. Danika couldn’t be more pleased about how Cova helps streamline cannabis retail management at E.C.O. and gives her more time to focus on customers.
“I simply love the display and how it sets up the product categories. Also, the mobile POS tablet is the best thing ever, as it makes it super convenient to take orders from outside the store.”, mentions Danika.
New Brunswick Cannabis Compliance and Reporting Simplified
Denise heard about Cova initially from Thrive, the first company to launch a cannabis farmgate store in Canada. And although she did evaluate other POS solutions, she found none were cannabis-specific systems and didn’t have the adequate features to help them succeed and stay compliant with New Brunswick’s tracking and reporting requirements. The weekly and monthly sales reports that must be submitted to the province are as easy as a click of a button, and even their compliance officer loves the simplified format. Danika appreciates that the Cova support team is always very responsive and has answers to all her queries.
“Cova captures exactly what New Brunswick wants in terms of cannabis tracking and reporting. It makes my job super easy.”, declares Danika.
Seamless Integrations with Other Cannabis Software Solutions
Although most of their customers drive to the E.C.O. Trading Post store from many small towns in the vicinity, they also have a cannabis web store for online ordering and visibility. With Cova POS and its seamless integration with the best cannabis E-commerce platforms, E.C.O. Trading Post has a robust omnichannel sales strategy and is certainly prepared for the future. Moreover, the option to integrate with other ample solutions in Cova’s cannabis tech partner E.C.O.system is reassuring for their team.
“In this early stage of farmgate cannabis, we’re lucky to have a platform like Cova that works well with both New Brunswick reporting and Health Canada. It’s efficient, easy to use, and builds confidence in us about the future.”, says Denise.
Facilitating Growth and Customer Experience with the Right Partner
As a small-town and family-owned business, E.C.O. Trading Post has many regular clients who bring in their family and friends to try out their cannabis products. Their main priority is to ensure that they sell premium and safe locally-grown organic cannabis products while curating an elevated customer experience and having a meaningful impact on their community, and Cova helps facilitate everything. With tourism returning after the pandemic, the team is looking forward to catering to tourists and replicating the same experience for them. Whether it is maximizing sales for unique products like cannabis plant clones for which they have a huge backlog of orders, educating customers about cannabis, or avoiding any compliance violations, E.C.O. Trading Post is confident that they chose the right cannabis technology partner in Cova. Is your cannabis technology partner meeting your expectations and facilitating your business growth? If not, switch now.