Customers Wait Outside Shops, on Computers for Legal Pot in Alberta
EDMONTON — Albertans lined up outside stores and waited at home in online queues to make their first legal purchases of marijuana.
The Alberta Gaming, Liquor, and Cannabis commission says more than 11,000 people tried to place orders at its online store in the first hour after it opened just after 12 a.m.
Its first shipments went out to consumers just before noon.
Of the 17 retail shops given interim licenses for the first day, six opened their doors in Edmonton.
About 200 people lined up outside Fire & Flower Cannabis in a strip mall in the city’s northeast.
Curtis Hrdlicka of Beaumont, Alta., decided to go into work late so he could be part of the historic day and was the first customer to walk out with a purchase.
“The store’s beautiful. It’s a mix of a pharmacy and a jewelry store,” he said while holding a shop tote bag containing two 3 1/2-gram packs of Glacier Freeze cannabis.
“I looked at the qualities of it. It’s light, citrusy. It was exactly what we wanted to try.”
Another customer, 19-year old Cody Chapman, said it was important for him to buy marijuana on the first day he could do so legally. He’s glad things will be different when he has his own family.
“It’s going to be wild that my kids are going to grow up in a generation where they don’t have to worry about the cops,”
Three stores opened in Medicine Hat, including Green Exchange. Co-owner Jay Hearn said many customers traveled from out of town.
“We’ve had people from Red Deer come, people from Maple Creek, Lethbridge, Brooks, Taber. It’s just been overwhelming.”
— With files from CJCY
Chris Purdy, The Canadian Press