Jeff Weaver is looking forward to opening Rossland’s first cannabis retail shop next week.
That’s because for the first time in years, he won’t face the threat of being arrested for doing what he loves.
“I have run out of adjectives to describe how unbelievably excited and elated I am,” he says. “It’s going to be a cathartic experience.
“I was frustrated six months ago; now I’m exasperated. But the second we open, it’ll be like none of it ever happened. It’ll be water under the bridge.”
Weaver ran a grey-market dispensary for years in Rossland before legalization, tolerated by both police and municipal officials because he was serving medical patients.
Now, as the manager of Jimmy’s Cannabis, he’s catering to a wider market.
“I’m just excited to start serving the people of Rossland again,” he says. “It was an incredible honour and I take that responsibility seriously.”
Weaver closed his dispensary last October, when cannabis was legalized. After jumping through a myriad of municipal, provincial, and federal hoops, Jimmy’s Cannabis is opening one of its stores in Rossland.
It has three other stores either opened or planned, in Cranbrook, Creston, and Castlegar. Weaver manages all four for the Saskatchewan-based company.
Weaver says he’ll be offering about 20 strains of cannabis in their storefront, in an historic building on Columbia Avenue. And he says the decor inside will reflect the community’s history.
“It’s going to look quite different from the government stores. It will have a heritage theme very specific to the communities where we do business,” he says. As for products, “there will be value items, premium items, and everything in-between.”
The soft opening on Oct. 1 will give Weaver and his staff time to work any bugs out of their system. He plans a larger opening celebration a few days later.