Vancouver’s first legal recreational pot shops open for business

It’s the first full business day for two of Vancouver’s first three licensed recreational pot shops.

Outside of Kitsilano’s Evergreen Cannabis Society, a small lineup formed ahead of the 11 a.m. grand opening.

John Berfelo was second in line.

“I’ve been fighting for recreational legal cannabis, medical cannabis, basically my whole life so to be able to come down here today and purchase cannabis, to me, is history,” he told Global News.

Berfelo dropped just under $30, a price he described as steep for a medical patient, but said prices varied and that he hadn’t bought the cheapest product in the shop.

“I got myself some white widow and I got myself some LA confidential kush because I’m a kush guy and I really like my kush,” he said.

“Second guy in line to get in there and buy some legal cannabis in Vancouver, and you know what? I got mine to take home, and I’ll enjoy it when I get in the comfort of my home.”

Evergreen was the first of Vancouver’s cannabis shops to get a provincial licence but was forced to delay its opening day while the shop finalized a City of Vancouver business licence.

Since then, the province has granted two more provincial licences to a pair of City Cannabis Co. locations, which have also earned the green light from the city.

One of those shops, located on Fraser Street, became the first recreational pot shop to legally sell marijuana on Friday night when it had a small “soft opening.”

That location was open again on Saturday, and the company says it hopes to have its second location on Robson Street open early next week.

There are now six provincially licensed private recreational pot shops in B.C.: three in Vancouver, two in Kimberly and one in Pouce Coupe. The province says two more shops in the Interior north region have been granted conditional approval.

One government-run BC Cannabis Store is also operating in Kamloops, and the province has plans for two more in that municipality.

There remain an estimated 40 rogue pot shops operating in Vancouver that are not in the licensing pipeline.

Last month, the City of Vancouver won a B.C. Supreme Court decision empowering it to enforce injunctions against such rogue operators that have been flouting Vancouver’s homegrown cannabis regulations implemented in 2016.

-With files from Jill Bennett

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