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B.C. could be better prepared for retail sale of pot, says cannabis journalist

Last Updated Oct 15, 2018 at 8:49 am PDT


Author says Vancouver is in a bubble when it comes to weed

'Perhaps there would have been more thought about this,' says author about only one retail pot shop in B.C.

Recreational sale of weed on the West Coast is a complicated task

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – When recreational pot is fully legalized this week, you’ll only be allowed to buy it in person in B.C. at one lonely, government store in Kamloops.

A longtime pot journalist and author is disappointed the province hasn’t embraced its reputation as the home of B.C. bud.

“I would have thought that the government maybe would have grabbed onto that a little bit and embraced it, and perhaps opened up a couple more stores than just the one in Kamloops,” said Amanda Siebert, author of the Little Book of Cannabis.

LISTEN: NEWS 1130’s John Ackermann speaks with author Amanda Siebert about the legalization of recreational pot


She says Vancouver is in a bubble when it comes to weed. There are dispensaries feeding the grey market everywhere — and some may try to keep doing that after Wednesday — but it seems most people in BC will be buying online unless they make a roadtrip to Kamloops.

“But I’m sure we’ll be seeing more opening up soon. Private stores, as well, hopefully will be coming not too long after Oct. 17.”

Is she surprised there’s only one brick and mortar pot shop opening up this week?

“Perhaps there would have been more thought about this. We’ve been talking about legalization in Canada since 2015. You would think that perhaps there would be more, but I guess this is what we’ve got,” said Siebert.

Cannabis journalist and author Amanda Siebert (John Ackermann, NEWS 1130 Photo)

But she admits says bringing in the retail sale of recreational weed on the West Coast is a complicated task.

“I think it’s a discrepancy between municipalities [and] the province. Some communities are comfortable with having stores. Some are saying they only want public. Some are saying they only want private.”

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Siebert thinks the legalization of recreational marijuana will be a factor in a culture shift.

“It’s not going to be an overnight transition. But I think slowly, people will start to realize that when the sky does not fall after Oct. 17, that cannabis is really just another thing that people use.

“Whether it’s to enjoy themselves, to relax, to take the edge off a little bit — if we consider the way alcohol is used in society, we don’t have that same kind of judgement for someone who likes to have a beer after their shift at 5:30… I would hope to see that people are reserving judgement a little bit.”

 – With files from John Ackermann