Vancouver’s first legal weed dispensary opens this weekend

Evergreen Cannabis will be the city’s first store to successfully transition from the grey market to a federally legal business

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      After becoming the city’s first shop to secure a business licence under Health Canada’s revamped legal framework, Evergreen Cannabis is braced to sell weed this Saturday (January 5).

      The Kitsilano pot shop is located at 2868 West 4th Avenue and opens at 11:00 a.m.

      The grand reopening was originally scheduled for December 29, 2018, but delayed “due to the holiday season impacting timelines at Vancouver City Hall,” according to a statement on Twitter.

      There are currently two provincially and municipally approved retail locations in Vancouver. Evergreen Cannabis will be the first to open its doors. The second, City Cannabis Company, received its licence on Thursday (January 3) and will now start the process of ordering stock from the B.C. Liqour Distribution Branch—the authority charged with distribution in the province.

      There are still 102 paid applications for licences in Greater Vancouver and the Sunshine Coast waiting to be processed, according to the B.C. government website. The city has said it doesn’t plan to cap on the amount of private dispensaries in the municipality.

      Despite confusion, Evergreen Cannabis will not be the only pot shop open this weekend in Vancouver—just the only legal one stocked with Health Canada approved weed to serve customers over the age of 19. The city still has a thriving network of operational dispensaries marked “illicit” when the country legalized adult-use cannabis on October 17, 2018. Several existing stores operated for years under the now-nullified Medical Marijuana-Related Use licence, while many more sold weed without licences to meet the demand of Vancouver’s growing population of medical and recreational consumers.

      Any shop that did not close in light of the new regime have been ordered to shut their doors and begin the newly implemented licensing system, or face enforcement. To date, the city has issued 3,713 tickets totalling close to $3 million against dispensaries operating outside of the regulations. Evergreen Cannabis will be the first in Vancouver to successfully make the transition from the grey market to a federally legal retail location.

      Two privately owned stores have already opened in Kimberley and a third in Pouce Coupe. The first legal shop to open its doors was the government owned B.C. Cannabis Store in Kamloops.