Buddy’s Place staff take a break from serving customers on their second day of operations. Manager Cora Muellner (far right) says it took over a year for the business to open. Photo: Tyler Harper

Buddy’s Place opens as Nelson’s second cannabis store

The store, formerly known as Leaf Cross, is on Baker Street

Cora Muellner is getting used to the question every time she wears her new work hoodie out: “Are you open?”

“Finally,” she says with obvious relief. “We’re legal. We’re open. We’re licensed.”

Muellner is the manager of Buddy’s Place, which opened Dec. 4 after waiting over a year post legalization in October 2018.

The store, formerly Leaf Cross, is only the second cannabis retail store to open in Nelson after Kootenay Cannabis Tree began operating in November.

The opening of the store is notable for how unlikely it once seemed.

In February, the city approved three out of four applications for recreational cannabis stores. Kootenay Cannabis Tree was given the lone spot in what has been designated the Lakeside/Industrial zone, while Nelson Potorium and The Green Room won a lottery for the two available spots downtown.

That left Buddy’s Place, located downtown at 356 Baker St., on the outside looking in.

But in March, the city gave Buddy’s Place a three-year temporary use permit to operate downtown. Nine months later, the store that wasn’t supposed to be selling cannabis downtown is open while Nelson Potorium and The Green Room remain shuttered.

Part of the reason for the long wait is the difficulty aspiring owners have in navigating strict federal regulations that include detailed financial and background checks. Prices for cannabis in the legal market are also up to $1.78 per gram more than what can be purchased illegally, according to a Statistics Canada report in October.

Muellner said the store’s closest supplier is currently in Creston, but that will eventually change.

“We’re noticing a lot of really great stuff right now coming onto the market, especially as [the craft industry] has opened up,” she said. “A lot of our previous suppliers from Leaf Cross have applied and are taking those steps to be able to supply the community, province and even Canada by applying for those craft micro-cultivation licenses.”

In the meantime, Buddy’s Place is making do with the supply it has access to. The main hurdle, which was to open its doors to customers, has been finally cleared.

“It’s been a wild ride,” said Muellner. “It’s been a lot of work.”

Related:

Nelson Cannabis Compassion Club to close down

Kootenay cannabis growers, retailers air issues with minister



tyler.harper@nelsonstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

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

Just Posted

Pay guarantee removed for some Kootenay on-call paramedics

Guarantee phased out as BCEHS introduces a new “scheduled on call” model

No active confirmed COVID-19 cases in Interior Health: BCCDC

Numbers from the BCCDC’s dashboard show 193 of the 195 COVID-19 cases in the region have recovered

Nelson council backtracks on one-way High Street

Bike corridor will have two shared lanes, reduced vehicle traffic and lower speed limits

Nelson counsellor works online with university students in central Asia during pandemic

Robin Higgins is home from her job in Tajikistan because of COVID-19

March dental conference key to many of B.C.’s COVID-19 cases

Early infections from China, Iran were quickly contained

Help the Nelson Star continue its mission to provide trusted local news

Black Press is now accepting donations to keep its papers operating

Vancouver Island First Nations gather to remember woman fatally shot by police

Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council requests an independent investigation

Regional District of Kootenay Boundary rescinds all Grand Forks-area evacuation orders

Evacuation alerts for 1,136 Boundary properties remain in effect as officials monitor forecasts

MAP: Dr. Henry reveals which B.C. regions have seen most COVID-19 cases

B.C. health officials release a first look at how the novel coronavirus has reached all corners of the province

Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation woman, 26, fatally shot by police in Edmundston, N.B.

Police were conducting a well-being check at the time of the incident

Seniors to receive up to $500 in promised COVID-19 emergency aid in early July

The Liberal government first promised the extra help in mid-May, but had to create a new system to deliver the aid

VIDEO: Revelstoke bear wanders into Animal House pet store

Staff got ready to chase it out with a broom

New study is first full list of species that only exist in Canada

Almost 40 per cent of them are critically imperilled or imperilled and eight are already extinct

Most Read