Vancouver Island’s first government-operated cannabis store opened in Campbell River on July 31. Photo by Marissa Tiel/Campbell River Mirror

Vancouver Island’s first government-operated cannabis store opens in Campbell River

Small crowd welcomed BC Cannabis location Wednesday morning

Gabriola, Charlees Angel and White Shark are just some of the strains that will be available at Vancouver Island’s first government-operated cannabis store.

Two doors down from Starbucks at Campbell River’s Discovery Harbour Shopping Centre, the BC Cannabis store officially opened its doors to the public Wednesday morning.

For Campbell River resident, Sanjay Srivastava, the opening of the government-operated shop is welcome.

“I’ve been waiting for this day for a long time,” he said.

Srivastava was one of about a dozen people that were lined up outside the store shortly before opening.

With a painful back injury, Srivastava said he had been driving to Coombs or up to Port Hardy to buy cannabis, which he said helps control his pain.

Kevin Satterfield, director of retail operations, cannabis operations said they’re happy to be in Campbell River.

“It’s really exciting to be in this community and we’re looking forward to being open today.”

The Campbell River location is just the fourth of the government-operated brick and mortar stores to open in the province. Cranbrook, located in the mountain daylight time zone, narrowly beat out the Island location as the third in the province. The first BC Cannabis store opened in Kamloops last fall. The second location to open was also in Kamloops.

The store’s frosted windows feature a forested mountainscape and no product is visible from the outside.

To even enter the store, you must show two pieces of ID proving you’re not a minor.

Even if minors are accompanied by an adult, they won’t be allowed into the store, Satterfield said, which is a major difference from provincially-operated liquor stores.

So what makes BC Cannabis different from private retailers across the province?

“We really focus on information and education for the consumers so they’re aware of what they’re buying and what we sell,” said Satterfield.

The first thing you see upon entering is what Satterfield calls the social responsibility wall. The headings “Start low, go slow; Keep cannabis away from youth; and Don’t drive High” look down at you as you wait to get your IDs checked.

On other walls, there’s information about what to know before you buy, plant anatomy, plant types, the differences between THC and CBD, and terpenes, which determine the physical effects of the product.

The store is open, airy and bright with all counters around hip-level.

“When you walk into the store, you can see everything right away,” said Satterfield. “Everything is at a low profile so we can see it.”

All the products in front of the point of sale systems are locked up. Customers can write on note cards the SKU and quantity of the products they want. There’s even a column for notes. You’ll take your card up to the counter and an employee will grab the product for you.

Prices start at $5.99 for one gram of dried flower and increase from there depending on the quantity and quality of the bud.

The store is organized by plant type. All the indica strains are located together, while sativa strains, hybrids and high CBDs are in different spots. A premium bud table is located off to the side with even more options.

Signage will indicate if a strain is locally grown.

Each bud is located in its own glass jar complete with a magnifying glass and an aromatic plug.

“If you’re looking to buy something that has limonene in it for example,” said Satterfield, “You’re going to smell that lemon smell as you go through.”

While the store’s cannabis consultants won’t recommend any products for consumers, they are on hand to offer education and walk people through the different types of products available.

“We want to try and direct them to the education wall and the information wall so they understand the product and what they’re looking for and then they’ll go and just explore the different buds on the table,” he said.

To start, the Campbell River location will have 84 unique strains available, with more on the way.

“We chose these 84 to begin with because they seem to be the best-sellers within the communities we’re in right now,” said Satterfield.

With nearly 150 different strains that BC Cannabis has access to, another 12 are expected to be added to the location eventually.

The store offers a range of products approved by Health Canada including oils and capsules, as well as dried flower and pre-rolls. Accessories are also available.

While some private cannabis stores already operate on the Island in Port Hardy and Victoria, Campbell River is the first Vancouver Island city to have a BC Cannabis store.

More private shops should be on their way soon. Muse Cannabis is slated to open in Willow Point this summer, while another private retailer has secured its license from the city and is currently being reviewed by the province.

 

Vancouver Island’s first government-operated cannabis store opened in Campbell River on July 31. Accessories as well as dried flower, oil and pre-rolls are available. Photo by Marissa Tiel/Campbell River Mirror

Vancouver Island’s first government-operated cannabis store opened in Campbell River on July 31. It’s located in the Discovery Harbour Centre. Photo by Marissa Tiel/Campbell River Mirror Vancouver Island’s first government-operated cannabis store opened in Campbell River on July 31. It’s located in the Discover Harbour Centre. Photo by Marissa Tiel/Campbell River Mirror

Vancouver Island’s first government-operated cannabis store opened in Campbell River on July 31. The store is open, airy and bright. Photo by Marissa Tiel/Campbell River Mirror

Vancouver Island’s first government-operated cannabis store opened in Campbell River on July 31. A table for premium strains is off to the side. Photo by Marissa Tiel/Campbell River Mirror

Vancouver Island’s first government-operated cannabis store opened in Campbell River on July 31. The buds are all displayed in glass containers with a magnifying glass and aromatic plug. Photo by Marissa Tiel/Campbell River Mirror

Vancouver Island’s first government-operated cannabis store opened in Campbell River on July 31. About a dozen people were on hand for the opening. Photo by Marissa Tiel/Campbell River Mirror

Just Posted

Black Press file photo
RCMP seek suspect in Vancouver Island-wide crime spree

Crimes stretched from Deep Bay to Qualicum, Ladysmith, Chemainus and Youbou

New literacy framework will allow teachers to assess whether students have the necessary skills to become strong readers, and intervene early if they need help. Photo by Marissa Tiel/Campbell River Mirror
Campbell River school board creating new literacy framework

New plan aims to reverse declining literacy in SD72

Duncan Hurd says his fence has been smashed multiple times in the past month. Photo courtesy Duncan Hurd
Vandalism escalating in Campbell River neighbourhood, resident says

Neighbours want to see vandals ‘identified’

Kandi Kehler has just over two weeks left in her rental, but doesn’t know where she is going to go next. Photo by Marc Kitteringham / Campbell River Mirror
12 days left: Campbell River family at end of lease with nowhere else to go

Biggest fear coming to life for Campbell River mom

Things are looking up for Vancouver Island as zero COVID-19 cases have been reported for the first time since October. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Island records zero new COVID-19 cases for the first time since October

For the first time since October, the province is reporting zero new… Continue reading

A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a vaccination site in Vancouver Thursday, March 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
NACI advice to mix vaccines gets varied reaction from AstraZeneca double-dosers

NACI recommends an mRNA vaccine for all Canadians receiving a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

A aerial view shows the debris going into Quesnel Lake caused by a tailings pond breach near the town of Likely, B.C., Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Updated tailings code after Mount Polley an improvement: B.C. mines auditor

British Columbia’s chief auditor of mines has found changes to the province’s requirements for tailings storage facilities

A North Vancouver man was arrested Friday and three police officers were injured after a 10-person broke out at English Bay on June 19, 2021. (Youtube/Screen grab)
Man arrested, 3 police injured during 10-person brawl at Vancouver beach

The arrest was captured on video by bystanders, many of whom heckled the officers as they struggled with the handcuffed man

Bruce Springsteen performs at the 13th annual Stand Up For Heroes benefit concert in support of the Bob Woodruff Foundation in New York on Nov. 4, 2019. (Greg Allen/Invision/AP)
Canadians who got AstraZeneca shot can now see ‘Springsteen on Broadway’

B.C. mayor David Screech who received his second AstraZeneca dose last week can now attend the show

New research suggests wolves can be steered away from the endangered caribou herds they prey on by making the man-made trails they use to hunt harder to move along. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Culling cutlines, not B.C. wolves, key to preserving caribou herds: researcher

The government has turned to killing hundreds of wolves in an effort to keep caribou around

Gary Abbott (left) and Louis De Jaeger were two of the organizers for the 2014 Spirit of the People Powwow in Chilliwack. Monday, June 21, 2021 is Indigenous Peoples Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of June 20 to 26

Indigenous Peoples Day, Take Your Dog to Work Day, Onion Rings Day all coming up this week

Gwen Spencer Hethey with her uncle and mentor Major Frederick Richardson. (Courtesy of Greater Victoria Sports Hall of Fame)
‘She was a killer’: The B.C. woman who pioneered female sharpshooting

Gwen Spencer Hethey made military men ‘look like turkeys’ says her son

Most Read