British Colombia Finally Has More Than One Legal Brick And Mortar Pot Shop

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

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 Societythe 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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President Trump's 2020 budget request includes a loophole that would let Washington, DC finally open up dispensaries for recreational cannabis. Although DC voters passed a ballot initiative to legalize recreational cannabis back in 2014, Congress has used its power over the nation's capital to prevent it from selling cannabis for recreational use. Right now, local dispensaries can only sell medical marijuana to registered patients thanks to Congress, which controls spending in the District of Columbia.

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