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New cannabis dispensary in Port Moody has edge with design: owner

Port Moody now has a third cannabis dispensary: The bohemian.
bohemian alex
Ali "Alex" Mazinani opened the bohemian on St. Johns Street in Port Moody, next to Fraser Mills brewery, on Oct. 10. A grand opening is planned for later this month.

Port Moody now has a third cannabis dispensary.

And it’s distinguishing itself from the others in the city by its design.

The bohemian, which opened Oct. 10 at 3034 St. Johns St., has a 1,600 sq. ft. showroom filled with plants and natural light coming in from its clear windows.

Unlike Kiaro and burb, which have frosted street-front windows that were required for cannabis stores before last June, the bohemian has transparent glass.

The move not only makes it safer for employees and customers — providing clear sight lines outside the business — but it also reduces the commodity's stigma.

“We don’t want to hide,” said Ali “Alex” Mazinani, principal of New Elite Investment, which owns the bohemian. “Cannabis is legal. It has been since 2017 and it’s a recreational use. We need to change the mentality that people have to it.”

Mazinani’s proposal for the bohemian was originally submitted in June 2019 as part of the city’s first round of cannabis dispensary applications for council to consider. 

Initially proposed as Cannoe by Westcanna — a company that Mazinani is no longer associated with — the bohemian will be a benefit to the community, the former Coquitlam resident said, as the products not only provide relief for consumers, but the business is making a one-time contribution of $10,000 to the Eagle Ridge Hospital Foundation.

As well, the bohemian is offering living wages of $22 per hour to management, along with healthcare to full-time staff after their probationary period ends; currently, the bohemian has 10 full- and part-time staff who live in the Tri-Cities.

An electronics engineering graduate of SFU, Mazinani told the Tri-City News that he got into the cannabis industry in 2010 after running dollar stores, and gift and accessory outlets. With Wescanna, he helped to develop a medical marijuana dispensary in Vancouver in 2016.

Still, under the bohemian brand, Mazinani has established two recreational cannabis shops: the first opened in New Westminster in September while the former Yamaha dealership in Port Moody was converted this year.

With a tagline of Create, Connect, Transcend, the bohemian offers a wide range of products with comparable prices to the BC Cannabis government stores. They include flowers, pre-rolls, drinks, chews, chocolates, capsules, topicals, oils, sprays and shatter, as well as accessories like bongs, glass and stone pipes, cartridges, grinders and vaporizers.

And the bohemian has free delivery services from its Port Moody store to customers located in the Tri-Cities, North Burnaby, Pitt Meadows and Maple Ridge.

A grand opening is planned for later this month.



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