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)

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Missing Penticton woman located by RCMP

Iesha Blomquist was reported missing on June 30

Video: Okanagan College congratulates 2020 grads

Over 2000 recent grads had their convocation postponed due to the pandemic

Show off your homegrown South Okanagan veggies in this photo contest

Contest encourages residents to flaunt their homegrown produce

In photos: Penticton Speedway celebrates opening weekend

Despite having to turn away roughly 700 cars, organizers celebrating a successful weekend of racing

BC Wildfire Service to conduct night vision trials for helicopters in Penticton

This technology could assist with future firefighting operations

Lower Mainland woman says llama farming neighbour shot her 11-month-old pup

Young dog was on owner’s Maple Ridge property when it was killed on June 21

B.C. records 31 new cases, six deaths over three days due to COVID-19

There are 166 active cases in B.C., 16 people in hospital

Police issue warning after baby comes across suspected drugs in Kamloops park

The 11-month-old girl’s mother posted photos on social media showing a small plastic bag containing a purple substance

B.C. highway widening job reduced, costs still up $61 million

Union-only project scales back work to widen Trans-Canada

Kamloops man pleads guilty in vehicle-ramming incident that injured a Mountie

Adam Hibbert was arrested following a collision during a police pursuit on May 26, 2019

Greater Victoria nanny pleads guilty to child porn, sexual interference charges

Johnathon Lee Robichaud pleaded guilty to slew of sex crimes

Most Read