James Maxwell, 19+ co-owner, opened Nanaimo’s first retail cannabis outlet Tuesday morning on Victoria Crescent. (CHRIS BUSH/The News Bulletin)

‘It’s about time:’ Nanaimo’s first licensed cannabis store opens

19+ Cannabis on Victoria Crescent downtown starts legal sales

More than a year after the federal government legalized cannabis, the first licensed store in Nanaimo opened its doors on Tuesday.

19+ Cannabis, located downtown on Victoria Crescent, opened its doors at 10:30 a.m., becoming the city’s first licensed retail store to sell legally sell cannabis to consumers.

There were a few people who lined up before the store opened, including Dan Abramczyk, who was the first person in line.

“I don’t know what to expect,” Abramczyk, said, adding “I’m not sure how they are going to sell it to me, if I’m going to be able to actually see what I am buying, or if I have to buy it and get it in a container that I have to take home.”

Roughly half an hour after the doors opened, more than two dozen customers had filed into the downtown store.

RELATED: Nanaimo’s first licensed cannabis store opens Tuesday

Rob Lambie told the News Bulletin as he was leaving that he purchased a strain of cannabis called blueberry. He said he knew what he wanted beforehand and enjoyed the buying experience.

“It was awesome…” Lambie said. “It’s about time they opened it.”

James Maxwell, co-owner of 19+ Cannabis, told the News Bulletin it “means something” to see the number of people visit the store in the first hour of business. He also said he is excited also about the future, particularly because a handful of new cannabis products – such as edibles, vaporizers, ointments and beverages – will soon be hitting their shelves.

“I think about the products that are coming, I think that is going to draw more of the people who, maybe have been sitting on the fence,” he said. “It is going to draw in people for the first time.”

Products like edibles, vaporizers, ointments and beverages were legalized by the federal government earlier this year as part of a second phase of cannabis legalization and are often referred to as ‘Cannabis 2.0’ by those in the industry.

Maxwell said Cannabis 2.0 products will be available at his store in January.

RELATED: Nanaimo council approves re-zoning for B.C. Cannabis Stores

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19+ Cannabis opened on Victoria Crescent in downtown Nanaimo Tuesday to become the city’s first licensed retail cannabis outlet. CHRIS BUSH/The News Bulletin

Dan Abramczyk was first in line for the opening of Nanaimo’s first licensed retail cannabis outlet Tuesday. CHRIS BUSH/The News Bulletin

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