Article by Calvin Hughes, Civilized
Buying legal weed in Canada’s two most populous provinces is still no easy feat—so First Nations dispensaries are stepping in to fill the gap.
In Quebec, provincially owned cannabis stores are only open four days a week while distributors are still struggling with supply shortages. For customers, this means finding a convenient time to go to one of the Société Québécoise du Cannabis (SQDC) isn’t always easy. And when they do get there, often the products they want are out-of-stock. And things aren’t likely to change there any time soon.
“Supply is still a challenge,” SQDC spokesperson Fabrice Giguère told Montreal Gazette. “We’ll only be able to open seven days a week when our supply can justify that. Right now it can’t.”
In response, numerous First Nations operated shops have been cropping up on reserves around the province. Three dispensaries are now open in Kanesatake, west of Montreal, as well as shops in Kahnawake and Kitigan Zibi a little further outside the city.
A number of First Nations run pot shops are also flourishing in Ontario. Dozens can be found in the Mohawk community of Tyendinaga, which serves locals as well as out-of-province customers.
“We do have some customers from Quebec who keep coming back because they weren’t able to get what they were looking for at the (SQDC),” said Jordan Brant, who works at the Tyendinaga-based dispensary Legacy 420.