Lepine says that since edibles have been introduced into the legal market, he’s seen an increase in older cannabis customers.
FSJ Hive Cannabis manager Christine O’Keefe also believes that communication is the key to combating the stigma associated with cannabis use.
“I’ve seen people who’ve never smoked in their entire life come in and mostly go for like CBD products or a drink or something like that,” said O’Keefe
“I think what continues to just get rid of the stigma is a lot of communication, talking with people, having them come in and see that it’s a really nice clean area comfortable to be in, and then just talk with them about it,” she continued.
O’Keefe also believes that some of the newer cannabis products help as well.
“A lot of the new products help. Like drinks and bath bombs and stuff, people see that come out on the market. They’re like, Oh, well, this can’t be too crazy if it’s a bath bomb.”
According to heretohelp.bc.ca, many individuals in BC use cannabis recreationally, medically, socially or to improve their overall quality of life.
A 2020 survey by Health Canada found that 27 per cent of Canadians have used cannabis in the past year.
Despite its legalization over three years ago, the stigma surrounding cannabis use remains.
A separate study from UBC found that those who use medical cannabis are often thought of as irresponsible “potheads” by many people, such as friends, family, and healthcare providers.
Cannabis was legalized in B.C. on October 17th, 2018, and the first cannabis store in Fort St John, Cannabis Corner, opened on October 11th, 2019, almost a year after legalization. This delay was caused by a backlog of license applications in British Columbia.