PEI

Finance minister says he won't buy cannabis, gives 'kudos' to patient customers

P.E.I. Finance Minister Heath MacDonald says he's happy with the way day one of legal cannabis sales went on P.E.I., but he won't be sparking up a joint to celebrate.

Heath MacDonald says no major glitches on day one of legalization

There were lineups at all three P.E.I. Cannabis stores that opened on Thursday, including the Charlottetown store. (Steve Bruce/CBC)

P.E.I. Finance Minister Heath MacDonald says he's happy with the way day one of legal cannabis sales went on P.E.I., but he won't be sparking up a joint to celebrate.

There were lineups outside at various times at all three locations that opened Wednesday on P.E.I. — Charlottetown, Montague and Summerside. The O'Leary store is expected to open next month when construction on the building is complete.

Long lineups at the Charlottetown store continued into the evening.

"We seem pretty pleased so far and the customers, kudos to them, they're patient and things seem to be rolling along fine," said MacDonald.

MacDonald said there were no major glitches at the retail outlets or the online store. Unlike some locations in other provinces, he said it is unlikely P.E.I. will run into supply issues. Just before 4 p.m. Wednesday, there had been 915 purchases at the stores and 185 online orders, according to numbers provided by the province. 

The lineups continued at the Charlottetown cannabis store into the evening on Wednesday. (Laura Meader/CBC)

"There may be at times a specific item they can't access, maybe it's the most popular item," MacDonald said. "But at this point in time we have lots of product."

MacDonald said he will not be purchasing any cannabis for his own personal use.

"I think I'll stay status quo for now," he said.

The minister said it's a culture shift for the Island, and he's "glad the day is coming and going and we can move on to the next phase of this whole process."

Finance Minister Heath MacDonald says he'll 'stay with the status quo' and refrain from consuming cannabis. (CBC News: Compass)

"We have to continue to deal with the youth too and continue the health side of this and the education side of it," he said.

"I think everybody's on board now. And it's changed so let's make the best of it."

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