Red Deer’s first recreational cannabis store opened Thursday with a crowd of about 75 eager customers waiting to shop.
The lineup at Greentown, located at 5111 49th St., looped around to the back of the downtown building.
“I got here at 8:15 this morning. I was first in line,” said Justin Pierce, of Red Deer.
“I’m really excited. I’m a medical patient. So I used to order it through my licensed producer directly. Lately, they’ve been having a lot of shortage.”
He has used cannabis for about nine years to address his epileptic seizures.
Prior to the store opening at 10 a.m., general manager Tyler Stevens said operating Red Deer’s first legal pot dispensary was unbelievable.
“A lot of us inside, and out here, never thought we’d see the day where we’d have legal cannabis. So this is a groundbreaking day for all of us,” said Stevens outside the store, where customers patiently waited.
He said it still might take a little while for those who demonize cannabis to change their attitude.
“But I feel as more information comes out, they’ll have a change of heart as well.”
On Tuesday, Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis temporarily suspended issuing any more marijuana retail licences until further notice, due to the national shortage of pot.
Greentown had oils, soft gels and flowers for sale. Flowers ranged in price from about $33 to $54 per 3.5 grams. Oils were about $130 to $160 for 40 millilitres. Soft gels were 15 for about $31.
Stevens said the AGLC is working hard to address the supply.
“I’m sure as soon as they get the OK, more cannabis businesses will be allowed. Right now, we’re in a very good position and we’re happy about that.”
He said as far as the shortage goes, the store will have to be patient.
“The AGLC, again, they’re working very hard. We’re ordering every week, so we’re doing the best we can to get our stock and they’re doing the best they can.”
Michaela Cook, of Red Deer, said it’s nice to buy legal cannabis that will be cured without chemicals that are hard on the lungs.
She said the store is only a half-hour walk from her home.
“I’m really happy that it’s happening. Really happy, really excited. I want some weed,” she said with a laugh while waiting in line.
Other cannabis stores waiting to open in Red Deer are Fire & Flower and Clarity Cannabis. Neither have received their licence yet, according to the AGLC website.