Navigating the world of cannabis in Canada

Day One: Cannabis Retail Rollout
Atlantic Canada the most knowledgeable about where to buy legally, survey finds.

Canadians are more likely to try cannabis when it becomes legal on Oct. 17 – bt the majority don’t know how to buy it, according to a new survey.

With exactly one month until recreational cannabis consumption is legalized, a poll of 1,510 Canadians by Lift & Co. found that 58% of respondents across the country indicated they don’t know where to buy cannabis legally.

A separate survey earlier this year from Lift & Co. showed that 52% of Canadian cannabis consumers are more likely to purchase legally come October, but 32% are expecting to do so in brick-and-mortar stores.

Respondents in the Atlantic provinces are the most knowledgeable, with only 44% unsure of where to purchase cannabis legally. This could reflect the fact that the east coast provinces are arguably the most organized with their retail rollouts: Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador each intend to have all stores stocked and ready by Oct. 17. Newfoundland is the only province east of Quebec to allow privately run stores.
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Residents of Alberta and Manitoba are the least aware of where to buy legal cannabis, with 62% and 73% indicating “no,” respectively.

Canada is the first G20 nation to legalize recreational cannabis. With an ever-evolving patchwork of local and federal regulations, some confusion around the rules is understandable. Each province and territory has its own laws around consumption, growing plants, and private vs. government-run retail stores and online sales. As well, every municipality has its own zoning rules – so what’s allowed in Calgary, Vancouver or Toronto might not jive with surrounding towns, for example.

And depending on where you live, the number of stores ready to go by Oct. 17 may vary. Quebec has 14 announced stores, while Ontario will be online-only until at least April 2019. Home to only one wine and beer store, Nunavut doesn’t have plans for any physical retail presence. Alberta was inundated with nearly 700 applications for stores, but it’s likely less than a quarter will materialize for October as cities determine limits on local numbers. British Columbia inked agreements with 31 licensed producers, but so far has only announced one store to be open for Oct. 17, in Kamloops. Yukon will have a single outlet, while the Northwest Territories will have its six government-run stores ready for opening day. Manitoba awarded licenses to four private consortiums, who are expected to open around 30 shops in the province – within two years, the government aims for residents to be able to access legal cannabis within a drive of 30 minutes or less. Saskatchewan has granted 51 retail store permits, but it’s unclear how many will be ready to go for day one.

So what the fuck, where the fuck and how the fuck? That’s where we are right now, nobody knows shit. It seems as though, like always the government is the only one who can answer those questions and their keeping it a secret until October 17. So I guess we’ll all have to wait until then, however here is what we do know, I think.

You’ll be able to buy pot legally across Canada, including right here at our General Store and don’t forget to visit the Head Shop in the store and pick up a great vaporizer from Arizer and tons of very groovy shit like one of a kind hand blown pipes. OK enough of that, you’ll all figure it out on the 17th. Some of the few things we do know: Unfortunately the government has added a $1.00 a gram tax grab on to your purchase. Now that might not sound like a lot but let’s ponder this for a moment, there is a little over 28 grams in an ounce, that’s an extra $28.32 added to your total. That doesn’t sound like a lot but now add a 13% HST tax. Now if you get a good deal an ounce of decent pot will cost you about $300.00. So that comes to $67.32 just in government tax. Now most of you know I’m a crusty old fart with bad eye sight, but when I first started buying pot it was $25 an ounce, mind you we had to clean out all the stems, stalks, and seeds. Speaking of seeds, yeah the things that popped and put a hole in your best shirt. Now they sell seeds 3 for $50, WTF is that all about, they’re fucken seeds for Pete’s sake. And who the Hell is Pete. Back to what I was saying. OK I understand supply and demand but this is insane, $67.32 in government taxes for an ounce, that does not seem to be quite fair. Now Mr Government how are you going to spend all this additional money? That’s a question I feel will go unanswered as it has for many years, but this is a topic for another day.

Let’s just concentrate on the good right now. Canada is the first nation to legalize both medical and recreational cannabis. And by the way, wait until you see how much you’ll pay to get your supply for the month if you get it from the government. I’ve been told it may be as high as $20.00 a gram, but we’ll just have to wait and see. In the mean time starting on the 17th you’ll be able to get your supply from us at really low prices. So stop back on October 17 and check us out. Because it’s time to LIGHT UP CANADA.

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