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.

 

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

Warriors look to snap 4 game losing streak in Trail

West Kelowna takes on the Smoke Eaters Friday night

Central Okanagan Journey Home Society names new executive director

Stephanie Ball will head the Journey Home strategy

Kelowna International Airport to invest $67M to expand terminal

It’s the largest capital investment in the airport’s 72-year history

Former NHLer coming to Kelowna to recognize first responders

Theo Fluery joins the Kelowna Professional Fire Fighters’ Charitable Society Jan. 11

Foote continuing with Team Canada for World Juniors

The roster has nearly been set for the World Juniors launch on Dec. 26

VIDEO: Feds give update on flying clearance for Santa’s sled

Transport Minister Marc Garneau has this message for the country’s children

Kootnekoff: Accommodating religious celebrations

Employers must be mindful that not everyone celebrates holidays which are days off

Investigators confirm three died in B.C. plane crash

Transport Canada provides information bulletin

Prime Minister sets 2025 timeline for plan to remove fish farms from B.C. waters

Foes heartened by plan to transition aquaculture found in Fisheries minister mandate letter

Canada’s Attorney General looking to larger reforms on doctor-assisted death

The Quebec Superior Court gave Ottawa just six months — until March 2020 — to amend the law

Drug alert for purple fentanyl issued in Kamloops

Interior Health issued an alert for the deadly drug on Friday

Navigating ‘fever phobia’: B.C. doctor gives tips on when a sick kid should get to the ER

Any temperature above 38 C is considered a fever, but not all cases warrant a trip to the hospital

Penticton Indian Band to host new by-election after successful appeal of 2017 results

On Dec. 13, the membership voted to host a new by-election

Wagon wheels can now be any size: B.C. community scraps 52 obsolete bylaws

They include an old bylaw regulating public morals

Most Read