Take a sneak peek inside one of Nova Scotia's legal pot stores
12 NSLC locations will be tasked with selling cannabis once it becomes legalized on Oct. 17
Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation executives showed off one of their new cannabis retail stores in Halifax on Wednesday that will begin selling pot on Oct. 17, when widespread pot use becomes legal across Canada.
President and CEO Bret Mitchell started the tour of the cannabis outlet inside the NSLC store on Joseph Howe Drive at the entrance to the cannabis section, which is located behind frosted glass at the back of the liquor store.
"We call it privacy without barriers," said Mitchell. "People who are not 19 years or older cannot see in here by federal law, so we have frosted the glass."
There are dedicated entry and exit doors, and views of the inside of the cannabis retail space are concealed.
The store will still need a bit of fine tuning before cannabis will legally be sold starting Oct. 17, but it is close to being complete. More than half of the 12 NSLC locations that will sell cannabis are at this state of completion, but all will be ready by the start date.
"Seven of the original nine stores are at this level and we have two more that we'll be completing in time for October," said Mitchell. "We actually slowed down a little bit on them because we didn't want to waste a lot of money for what was initially an artificial July date."
The province announced last December that recreational pot will only be sold in Nova Scotia through the NSLC, a Crown Corporation. The agency will also sell online.
Mitchell said it could take 15 minutes for patrons to enter the store, make a purchase and leave.
More than 70 strains of cannabis will be available, and the maximum amount of cannabis a customer can purchase at one time is 30 grams.
Staffing for the stores has already been resolved as many existing NSLC employees transition into the new roles. In September, they'll get cannabis sales training.
The price of cannabis hasn't been set yet and there will be no Nova Scotia-grown product available for sale, unless one of the province's three licensed growers gets a sales license from Health Canada before Oct. 17.
Those facilities are located in Antigonish County, Wentworth and Liverpool.
The Halifax store will have eight iPads for consumers to use to select what cannabis to purchase.
"The tablets themselves are dedicated to our cannabis website and consumers can go to that to access learning and education on there, as well as scan through the assortment of product that we have and then they can talk to our staff and make their choices," said Mitchell.
Mitchell said customers who become familiar with the website before coming in to the store will probably have a quicker sales process. Customers can also make their purchases online and home delivery is an option.