The first legal recreational cannabis dispensary in the Canadian city of Saskatoon opened on Tuesday afternoon with a strict cap on purchases by customers. Saskatoon is the largest city in the province of Saskatchewan.
In a Facebook post prior to the store opening, The Pot Shack notified potential customers of the temporary purchase limit.
“One item per customer,” the post reads.
Geoff Conn, co-owner of The Pot Shack, told the CBC that the store was not instituting a limit on the number of grams a customer could buy.
“Size don’t matter,” Conn said.
There is no legal limit on cannabis purchases in Saskatchewan, but it is illegal to carry more than 30 grams of dry marijuana in public.
Shortage of Legal Pot
Conn characterized the first day of business as a soft opening and added that the limit on purchases was implemented in an attempt to avoid supply shortages.
“If we didn’t do that, we would close tomorrow. And that is not an option,” he said.
Saskatchewan already has five legal dispensaries which have opened since October 17, the day the recreational use and sale of cannabis became legal in Canada. But at least two of those shops, Cannabis Co. YQR in Regina and Jimmy’s Cannabis Shop, north of Saskatoon in Martensville, have experienced temporary closures because products were in short supply. John Thomas, the president of Jimmy’s Cannabis Shop parent company Prairie Sky Cannabis, said that the opening of The Pot Shack “should help” with the supply problem in the area.
First Nation Opens Dispensary
The Muscowpetung Saulteaux First Nation has opened an unlicensed dispensary in Saskatchewan after passing its own legislation regulating cannabis. The First Nation has asserted it has the right as a sovereign nation to enact cannabis regulations for its land. But authorities with the Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority, which regulates cannabis commerce in the province, has sent a letter to the First Nation warning that provincial and federal law still apply on the reservation.
On Monday, Anthony Cappo, the chief of the Muscowpetung Saulteaux First Nation, met with Saskatchewan Justice Minister Don Morgan about the unlicensed dispensary. Although he declined to reveal what was discussed, he said that the meeting was positive. Cappo added that he and Morgan have agreed to meet again.
Short Supply in Quebec, too
Product shortages have also hit Quebec after the legalization of cannabis last month. In that province, dispensaries are closed three days each week in an effort to avoid bare shelves.
Andrea Paine, the national director of government relations for Aurora Cannabis, one of Quebec’s licensed producers, said that the shortages did not surprise her.
“You can’t make plants grow faster than they grow. We’re producing as fast as we can,” she said.