Zack Podgorenko, an associate at Trees Island Grown, says the stores will stay open with business as usual after Oct. 17, with the exception of a celebration on Wednesday afternoon. (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)

The last day before legalization: what local dispensaries are doing

Some local dispensaries are shutting down, while others are planning big celebrations

There’s something different in the air; maybe it’s the skunky smoke of cannabis enthusiasts jumping the gun, or perhaps it’s the sense of anticipation that the rest of the population is feeling on the final day before national marijuana legalization.

Pot dispensary shops across Greater Victoria have long run grey-market businesses – with confusing to little legislation surrounding them, and their courses of action come Oct. 17 are just as divided.

For some, business will continue as usual.

“We’re really not too sure what will happen, just based on the uncertainty that the government hasn’t really lined up anything for us, otherwise we’re just really excited to be able to celebrate legalization of it,” said Mary Jane Brennan, manager at Leaf Compassion Cannabis Dispensary. “We’ve asked city hall and spoken with the VicPD and it’s just kind of a like ‘no one is looking for any trouble’ kind of scenario, as long as we’re all being respectful and appropriate and following at least the basic guidelines of the rules, and not causing any harm.”

READ MORE: Are you ready for marijuana to be legal Oct. 17?

ALSO READ: Smoking pot? Your dentist wants to know

Leaf Compassion will continue to stay open, and sell products, with the exception of cannabis concentrates such as hash and shatter, which they hope to bring out for a final sale on Oct. 18 before pulling it all from the shelves.

“We’re gonna have one last hurrah, and then moving forward just get everything out of the shop for regulation,” Brennan said.

Leaf is also organizing a celebratory party for Oct. 17, holding major sales and giving out free doobies and munchies starting at 4 p.m. at their 950 Yates St. location to people over 19, and then sending people down to Terp City Canna Lounge at 1412 Douglas St. to consume their products responsibly.

READ MORE: Which B.C. marijuana stores will survive?

ALSO READ: Free joints, discounts and seminars offered as Victoria cannabis dispensaries get ready for Oct. 17

On the other end of the spectrum, Medijuana dispensaries shuts down indefinitely after they close their doors tonight at 8 p.m.

Staff members at the Johnson Street Medijuana location said today they were having a blow-out sale, where everything was 60 per cent off and any compassion cannabis was down to $4 per gram, with no limit on weight purchases. They hope to reopen in the near future once their legal application has been processed, though once doors open again they will no longer carry any pot concentrates, and all dry herbs will have a maximum of 18 per cent THC–the psychoactive ingredient in marjijuana– while cannabis oil will have a maximum of 30 per cent THC.

Farm Dispensaries will also be shutting their doors after today as they await final approval, with sales continuing throughout the day.

For Trees Island Grown dispensary, there won’t be much change aside from a big celebration happening at their downtown location at 546 Yates Street on Wednesday from 4 p.m. until 8 p.m.

READ MORE: Victoria cannabis dispensaries to hold massive sales before legalization

“For the most part we’re still gonna be doing our thing, our way . We’re not gonna be doing any drastic changes come tomorrow, we’re still gonna offer the same product line and the same hours,” said Tree associate Zack Podgorenko. “We already are licensed, and we’ve started the new process for the new licensing, so it is looking like as long as that processing is underway we should be able to continue doing what we’re doing.”

The Trees party will offer food, drinks and live music, as well as discounts instore.

Podgorenko also noted that while nothing official has been said about the membership process changing, he suspects after Oct. 17 that they will switch to an ID-based system only to see if people are 19 and over.

nicole.crescenzi@vicnews.com


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Mary Jane Brennan, manager at Leaf Compassion Cannabis Dispensary, says they will stay open after Oct. 17, and try to be on their best behaviour (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)

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