Nanaimo residents will be able to legally purchase cannabis from a government-owned store without having to leave the city.
BC Cannabis Stores has announced it will open its newest store located on Mary Ellen Drive in Nanaimo on Wednesday, July 29.
The 264 square-metre store will offer a range of products including edibles, extracts, topicals, dried cannabis flower, oils, capsules and pre-rolls, and be staffed by roughly 10 to 12 employees.
It will be open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday to Thursday and from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. On Sundays, as well as and most statutory holidays, the store will be open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
“BC Cannabis Stores is also looking forward to meeting our neighbours and customers, as we begin a long tenure in the community,” Kevin Satterfield, director of cannabis retail operations for the Liquor Distribution Branch, said in a media release.
When the Nanaimo store opens, it will be the B.C. government’s 20th cannabis store and the third to open this month. Stores are planned or have already opened in Vanderhoof and Prince George.
BC Cannabis Stores will be following guidelines set out by the provincial health officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, in an effort to keep customers and employees safe during the pandemic. Physical distancing measures will be enforced, all common surfaces will be cleaned frequently, and protective shields have also been installed at each checkout, according to the Liquor Distribution Branch, which operates BC Cannabis Stores.
“While we continue to fight COVID-19, we are committed to following through on our plan to roll out our network of stores following safety protocols and eliminate the illicit cannabis market,” added Satterfield.
Nanaimo residents looking to purchase cannabis or cannabis-related products from a BC Cannabis Stores have had to either travel to Parksville, Port Alberni, Campbell River or Courtenay or purchase online. City councillors had approved BC Cannabis Stores rezoning application for the Mary Ellen Drive location last June.
A second BC Cannabis Store in Nanaimo is planned for Country Club Centre.