Parksville is now home to its first government-run cannabis store.
Behind frosted and tinted windows is the B.C. Cannabis Store, which at approximately 5,000 square feet, has more than dry cannabis. Oil, paraphernalia, pre-rolled joints, vapes and edibles are all available for purchase.
It’s the 12th government-run store to open in the province, with its closest neighbours being in Courtenay, Port Alberni and Campbell River. Two more stores are set to open on Vancouver Island this year — both in Nanaimo. Parksville has three other cannabis stores that aren’t government-run.
Tyson Muzzillo, regional manager of cannabis operations, said the store aims to educate people about cannabis, especially ones who may have not smoked before. The store has 80 varietals of marijuana, with information listed beside each one and on tablets located throughout the store.
The shop is also covered with informational posters. Some explain different strains of weed, others warn about the dangers of driving while under the influence. Education is part of the government’s cannabis store plan, which prioritizes keeping marijuana away from youth.
“People will come in just to see the store, just to see what it’s like, just to ask questions,” Muzzillo said. “They may not purchase, that’s fine too, that’s what we’re here for.”
He said ready-to-use vape pens and edibles are two products they expect to be popular.
“We’ve got what everyone was been waiting for,” he said, talking about their edible products, which the government legalized in October. “Edibles and concentrates, new to market, we started to see the first wave come in to stores in January. We have chocolates, we have gummies, we even have CBD tea.”
Unlike a government liquor store, your ID is checked right when you walk in the door, rather than at the counter when making a purchase. From there, you can look over the selection before filling out your order on a piece of paper, which you then hand to a staff member at the check out counter.
The store, which has approximately 12 staff members, is open seven days a week — 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday to Thursday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday.