Halifax pot dispensary shuts doors ahead of legalization
Published Friday, October 5, 2018 8:52PM ADT
Canada's still 12 days away from legalized recreational cannabis, but the decision to have government take over the marijuana business has already put one pot dispensary out of business.
For the last year-and-a-half Brendan James has been operating Chronic Conditions, a marijuana dispensary on Herring Cove Road.
But when they turn off the open sign on Friday night, the doors at will be closed for good.
“It’s bittersweet to be honest,” said James. “Like, it’s gonna be sad not seeing the faces that, like, every morning the same people come in every day, they come in and see me, ask how the day was and get their product.”
Cannabis will become legal in Canada on Oct. 17.
In Nova Scotia, those over 19 will be able to purchase the product from select NSLC stores.
Anyone caught selling marijuana illegally could face a $10,000 fine.
That's one of the reasons why Chronic Conditions has decided to close, although the manager has concerns that the only place people will be legally able to buy pot is at the liquor store.
“I have a lot of customers that used to use alcohol as their vice and they had problems with it and they've been weaned off alcohol with smoking marijuana cause it's helped them get away from that slowly, and now they have to go where their triggers are to get something that helped them stop,” James said. “It doesn't make sense.”
And while many dispensaries are counting down the days until legalization, so too, are police.
“Are we ready? Yes,” said Halifax Regional Police Supt. Jim Perrin. “Do we know what’s going to happen? No, not necessarily, but we'll adapt and overcome.”
Over the past 18 months, Halifax police have searched 15 dispensaries.
“If a person is inclined to operate or work at a dispensary you know, we've already communicated with all these places and they shouldn't be surprised when they find themselves subject to enforcement someday.”
Perrin says officers have visited every outlet in the municipality to inform them that what they were doing is illegal and will remain illegal after Oct. 17.
Halifax police say their officers are still doing some training before legalization occurs.
After Oct. 17, as long as you're 19, it will be legal to possess up to 30 grams of marijuana and cultivate four plants in your residence.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Natasha Pace.