The long wait-for one store, at least-could be drawing to a close. Squamish may soon get its first provincially licensed cannabis dispensary.
On Aug. 7, the owners of Sky High Cannabis declared that they have received an approval in principle from the provincial government. They're the only store in town to make this announcement so far.
"It's a huge step," said Tristan Mussett, co-owner of the store. "It's been a long process."
"We are overjoyed," said Aimee Todd-Mussett, the store's other co-owner.
While it doesn't signify full approval, it's a sign that their store has made major headway in the application process. If all goes according to plan, the retailer may be fully approved within months.
"It means we've completed every step except for our final inspection," said Aimee Todd-Mussett. "And then we would be given a licence number and be able to purchase product from the government."
Sky High has one year to pass the inspection, though they've booked it in the coming weeks. Ideally, they're aiming to be fully approved by sometime in September, the owners said.
Mussett and Todd-Mussett set up shop in town about a year and a half ago, and since then, they, along with their adult children, Linley and Matt, have been serving locals' needs for THC.
The pair said that local government and the community have been very supportive since they opened their doors.
Since legalization, all cannabis retailers in B.C. are required to get licensed by the province's Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch.
Following approval, the retailers will have to get their products from the province.
"It will change our suppliers, and the packaging will be different," said Todd-Mussett.
Those who don't receive approval will be in danger of being shut down.
Other storeowners reached said they have yet to hear any word from the province.
Bryan Raiser, who owns 99 North Cannabis Dispensary, said he was glad that at least one store in Squamish has made progress in the application process.
However, Raiser expressed disappointment at the lack of movement for his store. By his account, 99 North was the first in line to apply for a provincial licence. His store was also the first cannabis dispensary to set up shop in town.
"We've come a long way," said Raiser. "Squamish [will have] its first legal retail."
Raiser said that it's been just about a year since sending in his provincial application.
"[I] have been in a process since then that has certainly taken an emotional, physical and financial toll," he said.
Don Fauchon, co-owner of Grass Roots Medicinal Cannabis, said he has also yet to hear from the province about his store's application status.
Fauchon added that he doesn't know how much longer the process will take.
Mountain Herb Collective did not respond to a request for comment before press deadline.
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