Cannabis an early hit at Holy­rood re­tail store

Long-time smoker sur­prised it’s taken so long for le­gal­iza­tion to stick

The Compass - - Business - BY AN­DREW ROBIN­SON ed­i­[email protected]­n­com­pass.ca

A fan of the newly-le­gal drug for about 45 years, Terry My­ers was the first cus­tomer ready to make a pur­chase when The Reef Cannabis Shop opened its doors for the first time ever at noon on Oct. 17.

“I knew it was com­ing,” My­ers said when asked if he ever thought the time would come for le­gal­iza­tion. “But I didn’t think it was go­ing to take this long though. I was sur­prised it took this long. I’m still sur­prised it’s ac­tu­ally here in the mean­time. And it’s fan­tas­tic.”

Af­ter years of be­ing treated as a pro­hib­ited drug, cannabis was of­fi­cially made le­gal Wed­nes­day, giv­ing con­sumers a chance to buy the prod­uct as they would any­thing else — cash, debit or credit.

The Reef was among the ini­tial batch of re­tail stores to ob­tain li­censes ear­lier this year to op­er­ate from Cannabis NL, a branch of the New­found­land Liquor Cor­po­ra­tion. Store man­ager Zach Hud­son said the busi­ness worked through the dif­fer­ent stages of prepa­ra­tion as leg­is­la­tion was passed prior to Wed­nes­day. It was only within the last month and a half that they were able to start plac­ing or­ders for sup­ply.

“It’s nice to fi­nally be open and get a feel for how it’s go­ing to op­er­ate,” he said.

Hud­son be­lieves it was in­evitable that cannabis would some­day be­come le­gal. He noted it can be en­joyed re­spon­si­bly.

“And any­body that wants to smoke it is smok­ing it, so we might as well tax it and pave some roads and build some schools,” Hud­son said.

My­ers does not smoke as much cannabis as he used to in his younger days, but he still finds it great for fo­cus­ing his mind.

“If I’ve got some­thing on my mind and I’m hav­ing an is­sue with it, all I’ve got to do is have The Reef Cannabis Shop in Holy­rood has a staff of three peo­ple, from left, Zach Hud­son, Marisa Chip­man and Matt My­ers.

a puff and my brain just works bet­ter,” he said. “And I have a few friends who would say the

same thing.”

One thing that ex­cites My­ers about le­gal­iza­tion is know­ing the qual­ity of prod­uct will not be com­pro­mised.

“You know it’s clean. You know you’re get­ting good qual­ity, be­cause it’s from the gov­ern­ment. I tried some of it, and it’s ex­cel­lent,” said My­ers, who went for the prod­uct with the high­est strain of THC (tetrahy­dro­cannabi­nol) con­tent Wed­nes­day, billed as Done­gal.

As of 2 p.m. Wed­nes­day, busi­ness was pretty steady at The Reef. While some busi­nesses chose to en­joy the two-hour win­dow from 12-2 a.m. Wed­nes­day and al­low peo­ple to buy ex­tra-early, Hud­son said he wanted to be mind­ful of the busi­ness’ neigh­bours.

The store, lo­cated on the Con­cep­tion Bay High­way next to the Mary Brown’s restau­rant, does have a few res­i­den­tial homes in its vicin­ity.

One is­sue pre­sent­ing it­self early on is the mat­ter of sup­ply. As Hud­son un­der­stands it, stock across New­found­land and Labrador is some­what limited given the new­ness of the in­dus­try. Right now, his store does not have ac­cess to seeds for sale. Oils have also been hard to come by, Hud­son added.

“Now that it is le­gal­ized, we’re hop­ing to see ev­ery­thing start to move a bit quicker,” he said. “I’d say it’s prob­a­bly go­ing to take a month or two be­fore it be­comes a func­tion­ing sup­ply sys­tem. But it’s a good start so far.”

AN­DREW ROBIN­SON — THE COM­PASS AN­DREW ROBIN­SON — THE COM­PASS

Terry My­ers has been wait­ing 45 years for the le­gal­iza­tion of cannabis. He knew it would even­tu­ally hap­pen, but was sur­prised it took so long.

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