Greenhorn employee Derek Gouchée and said the cannabis business is running more smoothly now, but it didn’t come without its hurdles. (Caitlin Clow - Vernon Morning Star)

One year later: Vernon pot stores look back at legalization

Edibles made legal on first anniversary of recreational cannabis

Cannabis was legalized one year ago today and two licensed stores in Vernon, Spiritleaf and the Greenhorn, say business is good.

“Sales are awesome,” Spiritleaf owner Sarah Ballantyne said. “Our customers are enjoying the products we do have and they’re looking forward to the products we will have coming in Phase 2.”

Phase 2 is readying to roll out after edibles, extracts and topicals were made legal on Oct. 17, 2019, a year after cannabis. The federal government’s green light doesn’t mean brownies and beverages will be on shelves today, rather manufacturers must serve a 60-day notice to Health Canada for all new products.

READ MORE: Cannabis edibles, extracts legalized today in Canada

“Today it becomes legal for producers to produce the items and then there is a 60-day hold, essentially, before they start sending out product,” Ballantyne said, noting Spiritleaf on 53 Avenue expects to start seeing cannabis-infused edibles, topicals and beverages roll in around Christmastime.

“Most of our customers come in looking for edibles, but they leave with capsules or edible oils,” she said. “That way they can go home and make any product.”

Greenhorn employee Derek Gouchée said the legalization of edibles will be a game changer for some.

“Sometimes people have medical issues that makes smoking difficult,” he said. “Edibles are good for that. And there’s no smell—some people are worried about that.”

Since legalization both Ballantyne and Gouchée said they’ve noticed a decrease in the stigma surrounding cannabis use.

“It’s definitely backed off quite a bit,” Ballantyne said. “All of our customers are spreading the information. We see a lot of friends of friends or people who say, ‘my mom told me to come here,’ or ‘my grandparents shop here.’”

Gouchée echoed the sentiment.

“You see people smoking cannabis more and more in the open and it’s just become a regular thing,” he said. “Once the government legalized it, you kind of have to get behind it.”

But the legalization of cannabis one year ago didn’t come without its fair share of struggles.

Ballantyne said the biggest hurdle Spiritleaf had to overcome was obtaining the provincial licence in the first place. It took her eight months and she said she submitted her application on Day 1. Meanwhile, Gouchée said another hurdle is the up-front costs associated with employment.

Employees must be of the age of majority and security verified every two years. The security verification costs the employee $100 and the workers are responsible for that fee, unless their employer covers it on their behalf.

READ MORE: Vernon RCMP seek assistance in finding vehicle involved in hit and run

READ MORE: Great Vernon Pumpkin Race to star in South Korean documentary


@caitleerach
Caitlin.clow@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Vernon’s Spiritleaf owner Sarah Ballantyne said things are “awesome” one year after the leaglization of recreational cannabis on Oct. 17, 2019. (Spiritleaf)

Just Posted

MP Morrison pushes for accountability following federal fiscal update

Kootenay-Columbia parliamentarian says it is time to restart the economy

UPDATED: Interior Health to add 495 long-term seniors care beds

Nelson, Kelowna, Kamloops, Vernon and Penticton to receive new facilities

Updated: Revelstoke RCMP searching Columbia River for possible body

Three boats and a helicopter searched the river and the shoreline in the area

Revelstoke Save-On-Foods compaign raised almost $2,000 for food bank

The grocery chain raised $300,000 for food banks across western Canada

Video: Revelstoke’s City Hall wrapped in plastic

Revelstoke’s City Hall is wrapped in plastic for the time being. The… Continue reading

Wage subsidy will be extended until December amid post-COVID reopening: Trudeau

Trudeau said the extension will ‘give greater certainty and support to businesses’

COVID-19 exposure on Kelowna flight

Interior Health has capacity to test individuals who need it, but is reminding everyone that testing is not required for those who do not have symptoms

Kelowna COVID-19 cluster identified after private parties

Risks ‘considerably higher’ while attending private events, said Health Minster Adrian Dix

Use of safety flares prompt search on Shuswap Lake

Marine search and rescue crew finds boat unoccupied, no one in distress

Foul play not currently suspected in death of man found near Sicamous

Body found in woods near vehicle linked Edmonton Police Service investigation of suspicious death

Drive-by shooting in Kamloops

This is the second drive-by shooting in the city in the last two weeks

Tree planters get help with COVID-19 protective measures

Ottawa funds extra transportation, sanitizing for crews

Vernon Mounties share video of cyclist hit by vehicle, assaulted

Police release short video clip of cyclist struck by SUV in March 2020, and photos of suspects

Most Read