Jim Leslie of Kootenay Cannabis Tree was first among legal cannabis stores to open up shop in Nelson. Only one has followed him so far. Photo: Tyler Harper

YEAR IN REVIEW: Legal cannabis stores finally open in Nelson

Our No. 4 story of 2019

Cannabis may be legal, but that didn’t make selling it any easier in Nelson.

Kootenay Cannabis Tree became the first recreational store to open in Nelson in November — over a year after cannabis was decriminalized in Canada — followed by Buddy’s Place in December.

And that’s it.

In February, the city approved three of four applications for stores in the city. Kootenay Cannabis Tree was given the one spot in the Lakeside/Industrial zone, while Nelson Potorium and The Green Room won a lottery to set up shop downtown’s two available locations.

That lottery system, which left Buddy’s Place on the outside looking in, was described as “cruel” by councillor Brittny Anderson.

“I think in some cases lotteries make sense, but that should have happened a long time ago, not when people have spent this much time, this much money, preparing, and then to suddenly be completely cut off,” said Anderson.

Buddy’s Place, which was formerly Leaf Cross and operates on Baker Street, was later given a three-year temporary use permit. Ironically, it is the only store downtown to have since opened. Nelson Potorium and The Green Room remain dark.

The city hasn’t had applicants for available locations in Railtown or on Nelson Avenue. What it did receive was an application from a group wanting to build an indoor cannabis facility in Railtown.

The Nelson Cannabis Collective was given a green light by the city in December to build a 1,810 square metre facility at 45 Government Rd. The privately owned company expects to employ up to 20 part-time and full-time people once it is operational.

Meanwhile, the last remaining medical dispensary was forced to close.

The Nelson Cannabis Compassion Club operated for 20 years, but in September it was ordered to shut down by the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General.

Phil McMillan, who founded and ran the club, said the news was a tragedy for his over 1,000 members.

“Since this was announced, I’ve gone from having the world’s best job to my job [expletive] sucks,” he said. “Now every single day we’re bombarded with distraught and despairing members who are basically going, ‘What am I going to do without you?’”

That’s a question many are still waiting to be answered.

Related:

Nelson approves three recreational cannabis licences, rejects one

Kootenay pot producers stuck in the black market

No charges against former MMJ Canada employees

Nelson Cannabis Compassion Club to close down

Indoor cannabis facility proposed for Nelson

Community Futures launches cannabis consultation program

Nelson’s first cannabis store opens

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



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

West Kootenay snowpack nearing record levels

High snowpack can mean a greater risk of flooding in spring, say forecasters

Whitewater offering ski program for people with cognitive impairments

Discounted tickets for skiers and chaperones, as well as lessons, are available

Breanna Faulkner, Kootenay Swim Club win at Kelowna Snowfest

Faulker won four medals, including two gold

Calendars for a cause: Linocut calendars raise funds for Kalein Centre

The last few calendars and cards are available at Cowan’s Office Supplies and Zinnia Textiles

VIDEO: Kootenay Patricks, Montreal Canadiens play to the crowd in Nelson

The charity game was a spectacle from puck drop

Officials reaching out to those in contact with Canada’s first coronavirus patient

The illness has sickened at least 1,975 people and killed 56 in China

Risk of coronavirus low in B.C. as first case emerges in Toronto: officials

There have been no confirmed cases of the virus in B.C.

‘Presumptive case’ of coronavirus in Canada confirmed by Ontario doctors

Man in his 50s felt ill on his return to Canada from Wuhan, China

People knowingly take fentanyl so make policy changes to reduce harm: B.C. study

Dr. Jane Buxton, an epidemiologist at the centre, says drug users need more resources,

‘My heart is going to bleed’: Bodies brought back to Canada following Iran plane crash

Remains of Sahar Haghjoo, 37, and her eight-year-old daughter, Elsa Jadidi, were identified last weekend

BCLC opens novelty bet on Harry and Meghan moving to the west coast

Meanwhile, real estate agency points to four possible homes for the family

Canada slips in global corruption ranking in aftermath of SNC-Lavalin scandal

The country obtained a score of 77, which places it at the top in the Americas

Wuhan bans cars, Hong Kong closes schools as coronavirus spreads

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam said her government will raise its response level to emergency, highest one

B.C.’s oldest practising lawyer celebrates 100th birthday, shares advice

Firefighters bring Constance Isherwood a cake with 100 birthday candles

Most Read