Province issues 1st licence for private, non-medical cannabis retail store in B.C.

The first legal, private non-medical cannabis retail store licence in B.C. has been issued for a store in Kimberley.

Tamarack Cannabis Boutique in Kimberley is licensed effective Nov. 1

Tamarack Cannabis Boutique's provincial license is effective Nov. 1, 2018 (Google maps)

The first legal, private non-medical cannabis retail store licence in B.C. has been issued for a store in Kimberley.

The licence was issued by the Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch (LCRB) to Tamarack Cannabis Boutique, and is effective Nov. 1, 2018. The operator will determine when it will open for sales.

Tamara Duggen, who owns the store, said she was relieved to obtain the licence.

"This is a huge weight off  my chest in terms of ability to sleep at night."

According to a statement from the province, more licences will be issued as applicants proceed through the licensing process.

Duggen said she began the process of getting her licence the day the province's online portal opened in August.

"Every step of the way, the government has only been the next step ahead of me, trying to develop what has to happen next," she said.

Duggan said she expects the application process to be simpler for future applicants.

According to a provincial website, there are 255 applications where the fees have been paid that are currently being processed. It also says the process for getting a licence requires security screening and financial integrity checks, support from the local government and/or Indigenous nation, and a store inspection. 

The first government-operated B.C. Cannabis Store opened in Kamloops on Oct. 17, 2018, the same day cannabis was legalized.