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Two Women and a Cannabis Store

Updated: Aug 10, 2022

When my friend, Corrine Swenson, told me she was opening a Cannabis store, I was shocked. Yes, Canada has made it legal, and we grew up in BC where good old BC BUD was a part of our culture however, I knew people who grew it and my friend didn’t fit my stereotypical impression of the Cannabis business person. I was having trouble shifting my mindset to the mainstream after a lifetime of illegal status and I wanted to know if they experienced any backlash within the community.

I talked with my friend and her partner, Kim Sam, on my BrandAPeel Podcast, about their Cannabis store and how their small town reacted to their new venture.

two women and a cannabis store
Kim Sam and Corrine Swenson

Less than two months ago the doors of Crossroads Cannabis in Burns Lake, BC opened its doors after the lengthy process of obtaining a license from the Provincial Government. What makes this place unique is that it is owned by two women who grew up in Burns Lake as the best of friends.

Both Corrine and Kim married hometown boys and raised seven kids between the two families to adulthood in the small Northern BC town of Burns Lake. Kim’s children’s roots run deep in the area as they, along with Kim’s husband, are members of the Burns Lake First Nations band. Both Corrine and Kim had steady careers within the public sector for twenty years before they took the leap into full entrepreneurism. Corrine worked in Economic Development for the regional government, while Kim worked in the financial department of the local Burns Lake First Nations Band office. The decision to leave these secure jobs to embark upon an entrepreneurial venture was not easy to make, however, with the support and encouragement of their families they took a chance on themselves.

Kim and Corrine with some of their Children who are helping them run the store

Business ownership was not new to the families as both were a part of the local business community. The Sam family brings retail experience to Crossroads Cannabis as they own the local Subway and the Swenson family brings technology skills as their family owned a local IT company. They are the type of women who get involved in their community, volunteer, organise, and help those who live there. Being so involved in the community, I wondered if their decision to open a Cannabis store affected how people reacted to them.

Family and friends were surprised the product was going to be Cannabis. There were many comments like, “If you’d told me twenty years ago that Corrine and Kim were going to open a Cannabis store, I wouldn’t have believed it.” They were not the type of teenagers or young adults to be associated with illegal Cannabis. I wanted to know how they, as mothers, were able to make the mindset shift and what it was like going into business with their adult children. In the podcast, I ask them about setting up a business with their children and the stigma of Cannabis in today’s environment.

With the support of the community, their friends, and their families, these two women have bigger plans than just one store. With the opening of the store and being able to open the former drive thru window for drive by pickup service, they can shift their attention to the next chapter in their brand story. Want to know more about their story? Listen to the BrandAPeel: Brand Storytelling Podcast.

Want to know more about Crossroads Cannabis, visit their website.


MarketAPeel is a brand storytelling agency providing brands with platforms to tell their stories and services to build out their digital footprint. For more information on our services and how we can help you build out your brand story, click here.

The Coffee pot you see me using on BrandAPeel: Branding Storytelling in the Digital Age. I knew I needed a coffee solution when the one cup brewing wonder I was using either created a tonne of plastic garbage or I got coffee grounds all over the place from the tiny reusable filter. Not to mention, I need more than one cup of coffee in the morning. I found this solution and love it. It keeps my coffee warmer longer and I don't have to leave my desk to get a second cup. Simple sleek design and easy to use - plus the coffee is pretty good too.

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