Police outside the Hammond Compassion Society. (Phil Melnychuk – THE NEWS)

Edibles soon in Maple Ridge pot store

Health Canada reviews took 60 days

Edible cannabis products became legal in October, but Maple Ridge consumers may have to wait until Christmas before they munch their way to a holiday high.

In a release Thursday, B.C.’s Liquor Distribution Branch said it received its first shipments from licenced producers on Wednesday, meaning it won’t be until late this month before they arrive on cannabis store shelves.

Those new products include drinks – both with and without THC – chocolate, cookies, gummy candies and mints, vapourizers, along with extracts, such as hashish and oils.

“The addition of edibles, extracts and topicals represents the provincial government’s commitment to providing safe, regulated non-medical cannabis products to B.C. consumers,” said Blain Lawson, LDB’s general manager.

“A lot of work has gone into procuring these products, and we look forward to working with our suppliers as they continue to introduce new products to market.”

READ MORE: Maple Ridge’s first retail cannabis store opens Monday

At Maple Ridge’s only licensed pot store, Spiritleaf in ValleyFair Mall, store owner Jeff Sweetnam said it took Health Canada two months to review all the products before approving them for distribution.

That process just ended said Sweetnam and orders were placed Thursday.

That will mean the first products should be in the store by Christmas Eve.

He added that it will take a few weeks, until late January, before all the edible products roll in.

RELATED: Provincial police raid Hammond pot store.

He also said that the edible products will come from the same companies that produced the dried flower variety, with 80 per cent of that coming from B.C. growers, including Tantalus Labs in Maple Ridge.

Legalization took place across Canada in October 2018, but only one store so far has been licensed and opened in Maple Ridge.

Other than Spiritleaf, the city has approved the locations of several new retail marijuana store applications and referred them to the provincial government for review.

Meanwhile, the cannabis store operated by the Hammond Compassion Society on Maple Crescent was raided Wednesday by provincial inspection officers.

The Hammond Compassion Society, a non-profit society also known as Deacon Blues, opened the store in 2015 to provide medicinal marijuana and has applied to the Liquor and Cannabis Distribution Branch for a licence to sell recreational pot.

To date, community safety unit officers have visited over 220 unlicensed retailers for the purposes of education and to raise awareness about cannabis laws, the penalties and consequences for violating federal and provincial regulatory regimes, according to the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General.



pmelnychuk@mapleridgenews.com

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