Article by Tyson Whitney, North Island Gazette
North Island Cannabis, the first recreational cannabis shop on Vancouver Island to be licensed by the provincial government, is officially celebrating its first year in business in Port Hardy.
Owner Tristan Radzik and his wife Serena Neumerschitsky moved to town back in May of 2017, and they immediately knew this was the place they wanted to open up shop.
Radzik was born in Poland and immigrated to Canada in 1990. Neumerschitsky was born on Vancouver island, Langford specifically, and they met in Vancouver while she was going to university and Radzik was working construction.
Radzik is the main staff member at the shop while Neumerschitsky is a volunteer for the company.
When asked how the first year in business has gone, Radzik noted there were ups and downs. “We survived a logging strike that happened pretty much two months after opening,” he said, “so it’s been an uphill struggle, but I think expanding our hours really helped — we’ve opened up from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. now, and we’re open six days a week.”
He added that for a small business they have “endured a lot in our first year, and I’m really happy we’re here giving the public what they want. We’re hearing a lot of positives from the public that our business model and our attitude is exactly what they’re looking for.”