There was no shortage of people anxiously waiting in line at Dominion in Carbonear this morning, Oct. 17 but it wasn’t for a sale on groceries.
Instead, this line of people both young and old, which reached from Dominion’s entrance all the way back to the mall’s front doors, were there to buy legal marijuana for the first time, even cheering when the first sale was made.
As of 12 a.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 17, marijuana was legalized across Canada, and plenty of people waiting in line said they planned to celebrate the day in the most appropriate way they could imagine – enjoying some legal pot.
Heather Parsons was one of the first people to purchase some of the products now being offered through Dominion’s smoke shop. She said, as a daily smoker, the chance to buy marijuana legally, and speak openly about it, was something of a relieving feeling.
“It’s pretty amazing, honestly. It’s exciting now that we can buy it legally, and not get in trouble just for having a bit of weed,” said Parsons.
“It’s the end of a prohibition, you know? Definitely something to be excited for,” added another customer who spoke with The Compass, but preferred to remain anonymous. “People have been fighting for this for years, and knowing that I can do what I want freely, it’s a good feeling. This is a big step for this country, for sure.”
However, despite the excitement, there are some things that stood out to the pair, namely the cost, noting that prices are likely going to be cheaper if one were to buy from a street dealer as opposed to legally regulated marijuana.
With that in mind, though, both customers said that buying from Dominion on Wednesday morning provided them with a much safer feeling, stating that knowing exactly what they’re buying, and where it comes from, may actually be worth the extra cost.
“Buying on the street is never taxed, obviously, but I think it’s definitely a lot safer this way. It feels like that, anyway,” Parsons said, with the other customer noting that if the total cost, taxes included, were listed as opposed to just the base cost, there would be less of a shock to customers who are familiar with street prices.
“In saying that, I’m really excited for the safety aspect. I know exactly what I’m gonna get here. Whereas, if I were to go buy from some random dude, I’m not really sure what I’m getting. At least this way, everything is regulated,” he said.
While they both said they’d be coming back for more in the future, they weren’t convinced that legalization of marijuana was at a stage yet where it could pose a significant threat to the black-market dealers.
“At the end of the day, the black market is cheap. It’s cheaper than coming here, and some people, for example an every day smoker, might not be able to afford to come here on a daily basis,” said the other customer, noting that once 12 a.m. struck, he went to make an order online, however, after seeing the cost of what he ordered, cancelled it. “I said, ‘Man, this is ridiculous.’ We save on shipping by coming (to the store), at least.
“But that’s something they’re going to have to look into if they want this to have a big effect on people buying or selling illegally. But, it’s all a work in progress, and hopefully they continue to work at it to find that conclusion. You’ve got to start somewhere.”