B.C. grants licence to Victoria’s first federally licensed cannabis store

Cloud Nine Collective will be the first legal pot shop in B.C.’s capitalby Piper Courtenay on April 4th, 2019 at 1:16 PM

The City of Victoria is set to open its first legal pot shop since Canada federally legalized adult-use cannabis in 2018.

This week, the B.C. Liquor Distribution Branch (LDB) granted Cloud Nine Collective (778 Fort Street) a provincial licence. The store has been operating in Victoria since 2015, but shut down temporarily to transition into the country’s new licensing model.

"We're extremely excited to be the first provincially licensed cannabis retail store under the new regulations in the City of Victoria," store owner Brandon Arsens told a CTV News reporter.

When the shop reopens its doors, it will offer only federally approved products available for order through the LDB. Currently, the framework only allows retailers to sell dry flower and infused oils produced by Health Canada’s licensed producers (LP). Cannabis extracts, edibles, and topicals are expected to be legalized by October of this year.

To meet new provincial guidelines, the shop also underwent a facelift, including new windows to prevent product being seen from the street, modern finishes, and an updated point-of-sale system.

After passing inspection and completing the necessary applications, the store is now in the final stage of the process.

The last step is obtaining a business licence from the city. The store is expected to open within two weeks of approval.

Cloud Nine Collective is the second store to receive provincial approval to open on Vancouver Island. In January, Stellar Jay Organics (9250 Trustee Road) in Port Hardy also received its LDB seal of approval.

This takes the number of privately-owned licensed cannabis stores to 16—three of which are located in Vancouver.

Piper Courtenay is The Georgia Straight's cannabis editor.

Follow her on Twitter @PiperCourtenay and Instagram @PiperCourtenay