First BC Cannabis Store for Vancouver Island opens in Campbell River

First BC Cannabis Store for Vancouver Island opens in Campbell River
WatchThe government cannabis stores offer a range of product including dried cannabis flower, oils, capsules and pre-rolls, all approved by Health Canada

Only a handful of customers were waiting outside Vancouver Island’s first BC Cannabis Store before it opened in Campbell River Wednesday morning.

But to all them, it was a big deal.

“I’ve been waiting for this day for a long time,” said Sanjay Srivastava, who was waiting in line. “We have to drive down to Coombs to our only dispensary that’s close to here or up to Port Hardy.”

“I’m hoping for some really good stuff and hopefully cheap product,” said Ethan Zagozewski, who was also waiting in line.

Inside, the new store was ready and employees were receiving their final instructions.

The cannabis can be viewed in clear plastic pods and there are lots to choose from.

“So what we have in the store is all the accessories that are available but they’re all locked up behind cabinets and they’re only available to be handled by the team that works in the store,” said Kevin Satterfield, director of retail operations, cannabis operations. “And then we have about 84 varietals in the store.”

Campbell River is the fourth government cannabis store location in BC. Two are already in Kamloops and another one opened in Cranbrook Wednesday as well. Courtenay will get one in September followed by Port Alberni.

All of the product is approved by Health Canada and officials say customers should feel like they get a little bit more out of a government cannabis store.

“I think one of the biggest differences is that we spend a lot of time on social responsibility messaging within our store in order that our customers know the social responsibility side,” added Satterfield. “And then the education and information panels we have in the store that really gives the customers information about the different strains that we carry and then the different cannabinoids and compounds that are within the plant and the terpenes.”

But how will the cannabis compare? That’s what Sanjay was there to find out. He has a back injury and uses it for pain relief.

“I haven’t tried the government stuff yet so that’s what I’ve been waiting to see, balance it out, see which one’s better, price-wise comparison see how each one feels on you as well,” he said.

Store staff say they will not be providing health advice. Cannabis sales are purely for recreation.

Dean StoltzDean Stoltz

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