Regina marijuana dispensaries grow to at least 10 storefronts in city

CBC has confirmed and located 10 shops selling marijuana in the city so far, with products ranging from salves and buds to pot gummy bears.

Pot shops have products ranging from gummy bears to cake pops

As of October 2017, there were at least 10 marijuana dispensaries operating out of storefronts in Regina. (Micki Cowan/CBC)

They may not be legal yet, but fairly blatant marijuana dispensary storefronts are growing quickly in number in Regina.

CBC has confirmed and located 10 shops selling marijuana in the city, with products ranging from salves and buds to pot gummy bears.

While some like Best Buds and Kelz have been around for a while, many of them have only been open a few months.

Jane and Company is one of the city's newest. It opened in September on the 2100-hundred block of Albert Street.

It's the second on that block to open its doors this year.

Jane and Company is attempting to appeal to women with more of a boutique feel at its medical marijuana dispensary. (Micki Cowan/CBC)

Manager Mike Bars said it's designed to be more like a high-end boutique and is geared towards women.

"It's just got a very contemporary clean look to it. It's kind of like going into a Tiffany's or a jewellery store. You know, something that's just a little more inviting than the average dispensary," he said.  

Marijuana for sale in jars at Jane and Company in Regina. (CBC News)

The shop sells regular marijuana, as well as edibles like cupcakes, chocolate-covered pretzels and cake pops.

Edibles like cupcakes are also sold at Jane and Company in Regina. (Micki Cowan/CBC)

Bars said he requires a doctor's prescription for his customers. But he knows of a few new stores that are selling to anybody aged 19 and up.

"With places popping up that are 19+, I believe there needs to be, you know, more rules set in place for places like that," Bars said.

"If it's going to be a completely recreational dispensary, I just don't think they're operating the way the government would like them to operate."

Legalization looms

The federal government has plans to legalize pot for recreational use by July 1, 2018, leaving it up to the provinces to regulate the sale and distribution of cannabis.

So far Saskatchewan hasn't decided how it will handle recreational marijuana once it's legalized federally next year.

It did launch an online cannabis survey in September though, to allow residents to have their say on how it should be sold.

The Regina Police Service, however, said marijuana dispensaries are not legal anywhere in Canada.

"The fact that we have not laid charges (yet) with respect to marijuana dispensaries in Regina doesn't make them legal," wrote spokesperson Elizabeth Popowich in an email.

Popowich said Regina police are working with the Federal Crown and Health Canada in their approach to find an effective response.

"Because they are subject to enforcement, we won't be discussing how many we're aware of or what information we've gathered," she said.

Consumer confusion

The somewhat hazy rules are confusing for some consumers to understand.

Pat Kuhn, a retired city police officer, has a doctor's prescription for marijuana that he gets filled at Kelz medicinal marijuana dispensary in Regina.

Gail and Pat Kuhn turned to their doctor for a medical marijuana prescription to manage pain. (Micki Cowan/CBC)

Kuhn said he has neuropathy stemming from a critical illness several years ago.

"I get the pins and needles in my legs and half my arm but then it's like you take a knife and shove it in and it's pretty painful, but the marijuana, the cannabis stops that."  

Kuhn and his wife Gail said they feel safer at Kelz than at some of the new places opening up that aren't as focused on medicinal uses.

Kelz requires all patients to have doctor's prescriptions.  

"There's one that I'm aware of, I'm not sure if it was legal or not. You went in, you just asked for whatever and they handed it to you and off you went," Gail Kuhn said.

"This one, there's tracking, they definitely make sure that you have the doctor's prescription on file, they're checking all of those things. Just the knowledge and the convenience and the cost," she said.

Pat Kuhn said that as a former police officer, he had to change his attitude towards marijuana when he got sick. 

"Anybody that we know, they know why I'm taking it and they know I'm not bouncing around high or something," he said.