It was a nail-biter to see which cannabis dispensary would make the first legal sale in Victoria, but Cloud Nine Collective clinched the title when it held its soft launch on Sunday night.
“We had between 20-30 people in last night, we just wanted our staff to get some practice before our grand opening,” said Sacha Romeyn, store manager.
Both Cloud Nine at 778 Fort St. and the 1402 Douglas St. location of The Original FARM officially opened their doors at 9 a.m. Monday morning, adding Victoria to the list of B.C. cities officially selling legal cannabis products, along with Kamloops, Vancouver , Port Hardy and Kimberly.
“We’re looking forward to seeing our customers again after a six-month closure,” said Allan Lingwood, head of compliance at Farm. “Our staff are trained and ready to serve and we have a wide selection of products from some of Canada’s top licensed producers.”
Both stores offered a wide variety of dried flower, infused oils, pre-rolled joints and cannabis paraphernalia, after it took several days to order product in from the B.C. Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch (LCRB) when the shops received their business licenses.
“We’re just excited to get our doors open and basically start the business. It’s been a restart process since licensing happened, we had to shut down for six months, and now today is the big day we get to open the doors back up for full hours of operation, ” said Brandon Arsens, Cloud Nine owner.
“We’re really excited and a little bit nervous. We just opened the doors, a couple people are trickling in, but I know when everyone gets off work, since it’ a Monday, its’ gonna be slammed.”
Ryley Nicholls has been a regular at Cloud Nine since before they shut down, and was happy to make his first legal purchase, a pre-rolled joint, on Monday morning.
“It’s quite cool for me,” said Nicholls, who was overwhelmed with the selection. “For me, as long as I’m able to use my medicine and it’s made well, I’m happy.”
Three more Victoria dispensaries are slated to open soon once they get their municipal business license, including both locations of Clarity Cannabis (603 Gorge Rd. E and 851 Johnson St.) , and The Original FARM’s Hillside location (3055A Scott St.)
–With files from Kendra Crighton