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

Transport truck driver ticketed after rear-ending semi, closing Highway 1 in Shuswap

Truck catches fire, Chase RCMP ticket man for following too closely

Automated phone scam targets Shuswap residents

Scammers may be spoofing a local number and claiming they are with the CRA

Okanagan and Shuswap MPs want federal funds to help stop invasive species

Concerns raised that spending favours Eastern Canada.

Homeowners arrive in North Shuswap to find thieves busy breaking in

Chase RCMP request assistance from public in tracking down suspects

B.C. sees 25 new COVID-19 cases, community exposure tracked

One death, outbreaks remain in two long-term care facilities

VIDEO: Vancouver Island cat missing 18 months reunited with family

Blue the cat found at Victoria museum 17 kilometres from home

COVID-19 cases identified in Kelowna, after public gatherings

Those who were downtown or at the waterfront from June 25 to July 6 maybe have been exposed to COVID-19.

VIDEO: Alberta man rescues baby eagle believed to be drowning in East Kootenay lake

Brett Bacon was boating on a lake in Windermere when he spotted the baby eagle struggling in the water

Summerland Blossom Youth Ambassador Program to hold coronation

Event will be held by video as a result of COVID-19 precautions

Vernon shutterbugs capture rainbow

A rain event July 9 made way for a glorious sight

Pooch abandoned at Penticton doggy daycare suffered from oral disease

A fundraiser for Okie held by the BC SPCA surpassed its goal of $1,700

Couple shaken up after homophobic encounter at Kelowna mall

‘We’re not in the States; we’re not in some little hick town; we’re in Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada. And it still happens’

Summerland to allow in-person attendance at July 13 council meetings

Two meetings will be held at Summerland Arena Banquet Room to accommodate public

Most Read