Wesley Sam stands in front of the former Burns Lake Specialty Wood Building and the site of his future cannabis production plant where Nations Cannabis will set up shop, in Decker Lake. (Blair McBride photo).

Recreational weed goes legal across Canada

Burns Lake herb buyers must wait for legit local shop

Burns Lake residents woke up on Oct. 17 to the new reality of legalized recreational marijuana in Canada.

Under the Cannabis Act, passed by the federal government in June, Canadians in most parts of the country can legally purchase cannabis from authorized dealers, consume it in specified locations and possess up to four marijuana plants at home.

British Columbia rules on cannabis retail sales state that the Liquor Distribution Branch (LDB) is the sole wholesale distributor of non-medical marijuana, according to the LDB website.

But Tammy Konkin, manager of the local BC Liquor Store, told Lakes District News her shop won’t sell cannabis products, in line with the province’s regulations which say that marijuana isn’t to be sold in the same location as alcohol. The Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch (LCRB) is in charge of licensing and monitoring private stores.

As of Oct. 17 there were no known shops in Burns Lake selling cannabis.

Though vape pens for consuming marijuana are sold in parts of British Columbia, as well as cannabis-derived Cannabidiol (CBD) oil, Trent Nixon, owner of local shop Small Town Vapes Burns Lake said he has no plans to sell them.

For those who can’t wait for their green fix, BC Cannabis Stores’ online shop offers sales for customers of 19 years of age or older.

The only physical weed shop in the province to open its doors for business on Oct. 17 was the BC Cannabis Store in Kamloops.

Read More: https://www.100milefreepress.net/news/mellow-opening-to-b-c-s-only-legal-pot-shop

A Burns Lake retail store isn’t yet on the horizon but local businessman Wesley Sam is working on the village’s first legitimate growing operation.

His company Nations Cannabis has applied to the federal government to become a licensed producer of cannabis and is preparing blueprints for his 50,000-square foot facility in the Burns Lake Specialty Wood building near Decker Lake.

That building has sat empty for several years and Sam plans to invest $18 million towards making it a cannabis production plant. Once fully operational, he said he hopes to have the first crop ready by next fall, which will be sold to the provincial government.

Sam expects the facility will create 50-60 jobs in the community.

“It’s exciting and new,” he said of his company, which is majority-owned by First Nations people. “I’ve been working on this for six years.”

He said the legalization on Oct. 17 wasn’t a surprise to him, but “it put another fire under our butts” to get Nations Cannabis up and running.

Burns Lake’s three mayoral candidates are unified in recognizing that some members of the community wish to buy marijuana and open cannabis shops, according to their statements at the All Candidates Forum 2018 on Oct. 3.

Albert Gerow and John Rauch both support potential weed shop owners going through the proper licensing procedures, with Rauch urging that the stores not be established out in the open.

“I would hope that we would have enough common sense not to set up near the high school or places in the line of sight. The availability [of cannabis] for children is something that none of us want to hear about or see. As long as it’s licensed properly, it’s brought in properly and it’s managed properly then I guess we have to embrace it,” he said.

Dolores Funk said that “everyone should have access to purchase legal cannabis” and that its legality will limit the dangers associated with such illegal substances as fentanyl.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Interior of the former Burns Lake Specialty Wood Building and the site of Wesley Sam’s future cannabis production plant where Nations Cannabis will set up shop, in Decker Lake. (Blair McBride photo).

Just Posted

Cullen confirmed as B.C. NDP candidate for Stikine despite party’s equity policy

Former Tahltan Central Government President Annita McPhee said the process made her feel “abused”

Freeport — the camp site that was the region’s largest community

A story of the construction of the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway

Burns Lake to get a pedestrian-activated light

The blind turn at the RBC crossing to get safer

Citing stability, B.C. Premier calls snap election for Oct. 24

John Horgan meets with Lieutenant Governor to request vote

B.C. reports 91 new cases as officials remain worried over ‘clusters of COVID-19

There have now been a total of 8,395 cases in B.C. since the pandemic began

‘Won’t be gathering for Thanksgiving:’ Trudeau says COVID-19 2nd wave underway

In all, COVID-19 has killed about 9,250 people in Canada

Canada’s active COVID-19 cases top 10,000 as daily new cases triple over the past month

Dr. Tam repeated her warning to young people, who have made up the majority of recent cases

First 8 months of fatal overdoses in B.C. have now exceeded 2019 death toll

Nine people died every two days in August, BC Coroners Service data shows

Liberal effort to reset policy agenda panned by rivals as too much talk, not action

Trudeau said it’s ‘all too likely’ families won’t be able to gather for Thanksgiving next month

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

‘Show us the money’ for cannabis, local governments tell B.C.

Municipal tax, transit revenues falling as costs rise

‘It’s a boy’: Southern Resident killer whale calf born to J Pod is healthy, researchers say

J35 had previously done a ‘Tour of Grief,’ carrying her dead calf for 17 days

People ‘disgusted’ by COVID-19 election call, B.C. Liberal leader says

Andrew Wilkinson speaks to municipal leaders from Victoria

Most Read