“When we first opened, there were questions about packaging, production dates – questions of the unknown, or a new industry,” Schweitzer says. “Now the consumers are in daily, in weekly, asking questions and learning more and every day was Christmas, with new products.”
There was plenty of excitement around security during the rollout of legal weed. From Mayor Ken Christian’s perspective, cannabis is just another business that pays licensing fees and taxes into the city’s coffers.
“The sky didn’t fall, obviously,” Christian says. “I think, perhaps, the revenues have been overstated and I think that there’s some balancing still going on between legalized, government-supplied cannabis and the illegal supply. By and large, this is just another retail opportunity among many in the city of Kamloops.”
According to BC’s Solicitor General and Minister of Public Safety, Mike Farnworth, cannabis generates $30 million per month in BC. He’s gone on record saying there’s room for growth in the industry. Here in Kamloops, Mayor Ken Christian says residents have a wealth of choices in the cannabis retail market.
“We have, I believe 15 or 16 retail outlets in the city and they don’t seem to have lineups,” Christian says. “I’m thinking we’re probably there, at that balance, right now. It is something we have yet to see a speck of revenue from.”
Farnworth is aware municipalities are jonesing for a share of the pot profits in the province. He says the provincial government is still working on just how that will be addressed.
“I know that revenue sharing, certainly from a local government perspective, is an important issue for them,” Farnworth says. “We have been in discussion and working on that issue with UBCM (Union of BC Municipalities) and the Ministry of Finance, which has responsibility for taxation policy is very much aware of the interest of local government in revenue sharing.”
So, while the politicians battle it out over cannabis revenues, consumers are blessed with new products to try every day. Like Schweitzer said – Cannabis Christmas.
“Now that we’ve been able to launch drinks, topicals, and everything that is complaints in the recreational market, the consumers have so much choice,” Schweitzer says. “Now they can set their experiences to exactly what situation they’re in. Before, they just had to buy what was available.”