New Brunswick

Illegal pot dispensary is open again as Cannabis NB copes with supply problems

While a dozen Cannabis NB stores in the province are closed because of low stock, other outlets have started to pick up the slack, although illegally.

King Canna, a dispensary ordered to close by Fredericton police in the summer, is open for business again

King Canna, an illegal dispensary in Fredericton, is open for business as a dozen Cannabis NB location in the province are closed because of supply issues. (Ed Hunter/CBC)

While a dozen Cannabis NB stores in the province are closed because of low stock, other outlets have started to pick up the slack — illegally.

King Canna has reopened after being shuttered because of a warning from Fredericton police this summer.

No one from the dispensary, which operates illegally, agreed to speak with CBC News.

Jessica Duivenvoorden visited the dispensary to purchase cannabis Tuesday but said she didn't know it was illegal.

She said she has shopped at Cannabis NB before but was underwhelmed by the experience.

"When I went in, they didn't have a very big supply, because I know the shortage came very quickly," said Duivenvoorden.

"They didn't have any pre-rolled, which was hard for me because I'm not a user all the time, so [it's] something I've never really gotten a knack for."

Quality control issues?

Marcus Urquhart alleges he's been short-changed while shopping at Cannabis NB. (Ed Hunter/CBC)

Marcus Urquhart, another King Canna customer, wasn't impressed by Cannabis NB either and questioned the company's portions.

I guess we bought the inventory, but we didn't buy the ability to keep the stores stocked.- Blaine Higgs, premier-designate

"I've been smoking for a while, I know what I want," he said.

"If say I get $10 worth, it should be 1.0 and it was 0.9 or 0.87. It's just like if you go say to a store and you get a 10-pack of cookies and there's only eight in there, you know what I mean? It sucks."

Premier-designate Blaine Higgs said the whole reason to legalize cannabis was to put dispensaries like King Canna out of business.

That's something he imagines happening in the future.

Wants illegal stores closed

Premier-designate Blaine Higgs says the government shouldn't have allowed a shortage of legal cannabis to happen so quickly. (Ed Hunter/CBC)

"I guess at some point there would be a process to make the illegal operations stop," Higgs said.

"There has to be a strategic path to make that happen."

Higgs also took the Liberal government of Brian Gallant to task for allowing a shortage of legal cannabis to happen so quickly.

"I questioned the minister of finance on that, about why we would be investing $100 million into inventory, and Minister [Cathy] Rogers at the time said, 'Well, we don't want to run out.'

"Well, we've been running out ever since we started. So I guess we bought the inventory, but we didn't buy the ability to keep the stores stocked."

With files from Catherine Harrop

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