As of next month, Williams Lake will be home to five retail cannabis stores.
After receiving the green by City Council in November 2018, owner Shawn Dang who resides in Vancouver hopes to open Marlee’s Den at 68 Broadway Avenue North on March 1.
“I really fell in love with Williams Lake after meeting with the Mayor and Council and also interactions with the people here,” Dang said. “They’re so real and it’s a very diverse group of people here. Very nice, very friendly, and hard workers so I feel like I’m part of the community already because this is where Marlee’s Den is born.”
Prior to the legalization of marijuana Dang worked as the chief financial officer for boutique dispensary startup MMJ Canada based in Vancouver and that stretched to Toronto.
As well as Williams Lake in which Marlee’s Den will employ at least six people, Dang said he will be also opening a store in Dawson Creek.
“I am initially from a very small town back in Asia in Vietnam; that’s where I was born and I also lived in Toronto for about 20 years of my life. So going straight from a small town into a much bigger town, Toronto, and now going back to a small town to open up business here I think it’s a great thing,” he said.“It’s great for our community as well.”
Retail cannabis stores opening last year in Williams Lake include Indigenous Bloom, BC Cannabis Store, and Pacificanna. Daily Stash Cannabis at 250 Mackenzie Avenue South will be opening later this week.
Dang said he believes competition is good for business.
“It allows us to really step our game up and set the standard,” Dang said. “If we set the standards then everybody would follow and who wins at the end of the day? The customers and that’s what we want to accomplish here and any community that we’re going to set up shop in. So it’s great seeing Williams Lake opening up to cannabis and retail cannabis.”
(Note: Listen to the author of this report with the owner of Marlee’s Den, Shawn Dang in the audio file below. This article was updated on Feb. 4 to include the interview with Dang and the location of the store.)