British Columbia finally has more than one legal brick and mortar pot shop

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Two months after legalization, British Columbia finally has more than just one place to buy weed, writes Calvin Hughes. 

When recreational cannabis legalization came in to effect on October 17th, the BC government announced that  they would have only one place for people to buy the substance. The original store was a government operated dispensary located in Kamloops, and while this is still the only publicly run store in the province, BC is finally seeing some of those promised private retailers open their doors.

On Christmas Eve the provincial government announced that four private retailers have been licensed to operate in the province. Two of them are set to open in Kimberly, one in Pouce Coupe and one in Vancouver.

Mike Babins, the co-founder of The Evergreen Cannabis Society—the medical marijuana dispensary in Vancouver that is set to become the city's only recreational cannabis retailer come Saturday morning— said he is "very, very excited" to be entering the recreational space.

"We went through all the stuff with the city for three years and now we spent the past four months going back and forth with the province and they were asking us every single little detail about our lives," Babins told CBC. "We finally made it through."

While this is great news, having only five cannabis retailers to service a province of nearly five million people is still pretty underwhelming. The Vancouver metro houses nearly half of the province's population, so having just a single shop probably won't cut it, either. While you can purchase cannabis online from the provincially run webstore,the Canadian privacy watchdog says you really shouldn't be buying legal weed on a credit card if you ever want to travel abroad.

At least British Columbians still have more options than people in Ontario.

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