The name of the store is High North, but it might as well be named High and Dry because for all but about four hours of the first two weeks since marijuana was legalized in Canada, there was no pot to sell.
Trevor Tobin, one of the owners of the Labrador City shop in Newfoundland and Labrador, said they went 10 straight days without supply.
“The producers keep saying there will be some bumps in the road, but right now it’s not a bump in the road. It’s a big pothole,” he said.
His mother, Brenda Tobin, is a part-owner and said that after she tells customers there’s nothing to buy, “a lot of them are saying, ‘Oh, well. I guess it’s back to the black market.”‘
Legalization arrived Oct. 17, and Canada became the world’s largest national marketplace for so-called recreational marijuana. But for now, it’s a superlative in name only.
The first weeks have felt more like a soft opening with few retail outlets operating and rampant supply shortages. It’s not because Canada can’t produce enough cannabis products — licensing those producers has been slow, and the federal government is taking steps to speed up the process.