Loading articles...

B.C.'s first legal, government-owned marijuana store is now open

Last Updated Oct 17, 2018 at 9:30 pm PDT


There are sniff jars of cannabis samples and lots of product information at the first BC Cannabis Store

KAMLOOPS (NEWS 1130) – It’s the only recreational cannabis store in B.C. and it’s now open in Kamloops, on Canada’s first first day of legal marijuana.

The lineup stretched around the store and began over-flowing into the parking lot when the doors opened, but it was all smiles as the doors opened and people began to file in.

Aaron, the co-owner of a cannabis store DNA Genetics, was the first person to buy legal marijuana in B.C.

He was thrilled to make his first legal purchase.

“So happy right now, it’s like seeing my child,” he said. “It feels great. I’m going to go smoke it.”

As someone who worked in the industry for 16 yeasr, he says this is a day he had been dreaming about for a long time.

“We never thought it would go to this,” he said. “We’ve here witnessing it, and actually being part of it with our products being sold here in Canada.”

Becky Prete drove from Kelowna Tuesday night to get a good spot in line. But she didn’t expect to be first.

“I’ve been waiting for this for a really long time. It feels really good that it’s legal. Everyone can come out of the shadows. It’s finally happening.”

She set up a lawn chair and blanket, and got comfortable.

“I wanted to make sure that I was in the store and I didn’t have to wait in line for a really long time. I really, honestly expected there to be a bunch of people in a giant lineup.”

She said she may not have come prepared for the chilly morning air, but she did come with a shopping list.

Meanwhile, Craig McCarthy drove in from Chilliwack Tuesday night and slept in his car.

“After so many years of dealing with people that are shady and stuff like that, [I’m happy to] to finally come to some place where it’s legal — to be able to enjoy what we want to do,” he said.

“At least the government can be my drug dealer, at this point,” he laughed.

PHOTOS: Inside B.C.’s first government-operated cannabis store

Inside, customers are greeted by a slick modern open-concept store with products in containers.

“There’s all different kinds of sniff jars, where we have samples of the cannabis. Nobody touches the cannabis. Nobody comes into contact with it,” said Viviana Zanocco with the BC Liquor Distribution Branch, the department responsible for cannabis.

“You’re going to fill out a little slip, you’re going to go out to the counter, and then they’re going to complete the sale and hand you the product,” said Zanocco.

Packages come in at least one, three, and seven grams.

She adds there will be a lot of information about the various products and about cannabis in general.

“We want to help every customer — from the aficionado to the novice — make an informed choice.”

Some shoppers commented on the store’s interior.

“Really, really nice beautifully laid out. Its going to be a great experience for everybody either if you’re new to cannabis or experience, I think there’s something for everybody in there,” one customer said.

There were a couple grumbles about prices and whether the federal government should take legalization further, but overall everyone just seemed happy to be able to buy weed with a credit card.

The store is expected to be busy all day.