Police reminds locals to be responsible as pot stores open in Moose Jaw
One of the two licensed cannabis retail stores in Moose Jaw is now open for business. New Leaf Emporium made its debut last week as it opened its doors to lines of people looking to purchase their cannabis products.
New Leaf, located at 602 Main St N, is locally operated and is happy to open for business in Moose Jaw, a historic move for the community as cannabis becomes legal in Canada.
The store is open daily, 12pm-8:00pm. You can find New Leaf on Facebook where the store posts daily updates. In order to enter the store, you have to produce your government issued ID.
Meanwhile, the other store SPIRITLEAF, located at 6-10, 1251 Main St N, is not yet open but says they will be operating soon.
SPIRITLEAF is a family owned business. They say they are looking forward to operating in Moose Jaw. The family who is from Saskatoon has now relocated to Moose Jaw for this exciting new business venture.
The franchise owners, who spoke exclusively to the Express, Darcy Fisher and his children Mandy, Chelsea and Dylan said they are happy to be in Moose Jaw. “Construction is almost complete, and we are awaiting some shipments to make sure we are fully prepared, and our staff are fully trained. We’ll have a wide range of cannabis strains. We’ll also have some specialized accessories. We love being here in Moose Jaw, two of us will be here fulltime. This is a great opportunity and part of history in the making for us,” said the Fishers.
Anyone with a government issued ID over the age of 19 can purchase cannabis (or related products). SPIRITLEAF will open from 10am-10pm, Monday to Saturday and 12noon-8pm on Sundays. The store’s official opening date will be announced soon.
In the meantime, the Moose Jaw Police Service says it has been a smooth transition since legislation for the legalization of cannabis came into effect recently. They are however reminding locals to be responsible in the consumption of the product.
Chief of the Moose Jaw Police Service, Rick Bourassa says the team is prepared to deal with enforcement matters that may arise from this move. He says the team has been properly trained and made aware of federal and provincial aspects of the legislation.
“We in the Police Service had been working with the different government agencies on being informed of the process as the policies were developed to ensure that they were policies we could implement and use operationally. So, we had very good experiences with that and as we move forward, we had to ensure that all our members were trained and made aware of the upcoming legislation. We had training provided at the federal level and provincially to all our members. This was important to us; our people had to know what was happening and conduct the enforcement side of that which had to do with sale and the distribution aspect.”
He also noted that like driving under the use of alcohol, members will also be in place to identify and detect driving under the influence of substances such as cannabis. “The second part has to do with impaired driving in the federal and provincial legislation that came out. This is not something new for us in terms of policing across the country. We had been dealing with drug impairment for a long time. We’ve had some things in place like training for our members in relation to Standardize Field Sobriety Testing which is a test of behaviors when we suspect someone may be under the influence of the drug,” he explained. “There’s a next level of that which is Drug Expert Level Training which is very specific training for team members—a three-week period for the course that detects and identifies impairment by drugs. We’ve had that in place for some time and now with cannabis being a decriminalized substance, we don’t know what to expect in terms of the number of people that may be driving under the influence but we have people in place that can do and provide the proper testing so that we can proceed in the right manner. We’re prepared as much as we can be.” He added that new devices will also come into place to enhance detection. “We will soon be working with a roadside screening device for cannabis detection, much like the road-side test we can give for alcohol impairment. We have a member who is trained on its use and once that comes, we’ll test that. We have also been working very closely with our partners in The Saskatchewan Gaming Authority on the production, distribution and retail network that is in place, so we can address any issues that may come up from legalized sales whether through store front or retail ordering.”
Chief Bourassa is reminding locals to be responsible in the consumption of the substance. “We haven’t had an issue so far since the legislation took effect. We’ve not had any complaints or calls around the use of cannabis that has been serious. It has been a relatively smooth transition so far. We encourage everybody to ensure that if they are using these substances, use it in a responsible manner and make sure they aren’t in any way putting anyone at risk, such as behaviour while driving under the influence. We want to also remind people that both alcohol and the consumption of cannabis are prohibited in public spaces.”