Walk into one of Nova Scotia's combined liquor and cannabis stores, and you may notice a distinctive odour -- the smell of legal pot.

It's unmistakable and it's enough to keep some alcohol buyers away.

The owner of a ventilation business is among those who say they can't stand what's in the air.

Brian Veinotte has owned his own ventilation business for more than 30 years.

When he visited the Bridgewater NSLC after it opened as a combination liquor and cannabis store, he says the smell hit him right at the door.

“You know, as bad as a two-day old road kill,” Veinotte said. “It's quite strong.”

He says it's so bad, he hasn't been back since.

And he thinks it comes down to poor ventilation.

“Typically there's a separation there that separates the two sections within the one building and then they should have their own ventilation system,” Veinotte said.

The cannabis section in the Bridgewater location is right at the entrance.

“Absolutely there's a smell in there,” said one man who didn’t give his name. “They’re selling cannabis in there now, and cannabis happens to have a rather distinct odor to it.”

But not all noses, it seems, are created equal. A few others said they couldn’t smell anything unusual.

“We are aware just in terms of our employees chatting with customers that there are a couple of stores where there have been some issues with odour,” said NSLC spokespersonBeverly Ware.

Those stores include Bridgewater and the Portland Street location in Dartmouth.

Ware says the cannabis sections don't have separate ventilation systems -- just what's connected to the whole building.

“The product arrives and we put it in the drawers as soon as we can, but we're also going to be chatting with the licensed producers to see if there are any measures they can take to address some of these concerns with odour,” Ware said.

The NSLC says it will also look at its own practices to see if there's any way to cut down the smell.

But at the moment, anyone who finds it too much may just have to hold their nose.

With files from CTV Atlantic’s Heidi Petracek.