For the first time, a Squamish dispensary has legally delivered pot in both the Squamish area and Whistler.
“Last month, the province announced cannabis stores in B.C. are allowed to deliver, and after waiting over six years, we did not need to be told twice,” said Bryan Raiser, the owner of 99 North Cannabis.
As of 9 a.m. on July 15, 99 North has dropped off marijuana to Jorge Alvarez at Toad Hall Studios in Whistler; former mayor Patricia Heintzman in Paradise Valley and Feet Banks in Squamish.Raiser said that it was a moment that’s been a long time coming.
“Like all my dreams – it didn’t go as planned, but it did end up going. I remember the tense political situation with the RCMP when 99 North Cannabis first opened in 2015. After serving two terms on council, I was calling every elected official I served with for advice and help to negotiate these historic waters,” said Raiser in a written statement.“In Squamish, Mayor Heintzman and council were standing up to the federal government to allow 99 North to provide safe access to the corridor community. Once that happened, I began advocating for Whistler. I have always respected Jack Crompton for his ability to genuinely listen and his honesty, which is why when he said it looked like the municipality of Whistler is going to take a cautious approach, I thought — OK, I can wait and provide access from Squamish.
“Now, over six years later, my face hurts from smiling so much about being the first delivery of legal weed to Whistler and Squamish.”
Each of the deliveries went to a meaningful client.The delivery to Heintzman was also particularly suited, he said.
The former mayor, Raiser said, was instrumental in the legalization movement.“[Her] leadership helped change the cannabis laws in our country and put Squamish in the history books for being the first municipality to approve a legal store in B.C.,” he said.
In Whistler, Raiser personally delivered the pot to Alvarez, who heads sales and admin at Toad Hall Studios.
“This makes me smile so much,” said Raiser. “It is beyond perfect. Toad Hall Studios has been the local corridor printer of awesomeness since 1989, so it’s only fitting that the corridor’s oldest shop drop off the historic first legal weed purchase in Whistler.”
Alvarez told The Chief it was about time cannabis was available in the resort.
"It seems that Whistler's town officials are perhaps a little too obtuse to allow legal weed sales in Whistler, it might stain our squeaky clean soulless plastic 'family resort' image much like Disneyland," he said in an emailed statement. "I find it Ironic how they forgot the early Whistler days and the true ski bums' lifestyle that put these beautiful mountains on the map....How can one tell them that weed is legal and it’s here to stay? Get on with the times, but thanks to Bryan and 99 now we can purchase weed and have it delivered home… like beer, pizza or Amazon orders."
Retail cannabis sales are on the agenda for Whistler. Crompton told Pique Newsmagazine in February that it was on the work plan for this year.
“Non-medical cannabis retail and licencing is in the Resort Municipality of Whistler’s current work plan, and is identified for consideration in 2021. But a lot depends on resources available," he said at the time.
As for his other Squamish delivery, Raiser praised Banks as a creative legend in Squamish.“It is a bizarre feeling to achieve a goal after nothing short of Herculean obstacles were put in your path for six years, but here we are,” he said.
“Like all brand-new systems, this one will evolve over the next few months, and we look forward to continuing our advocacy to make the industry and our community the best it can be.”In the meantime, other dispensaries are getting ready to offer the service.
As of close to noon on July 15, the co-owner of Sky High Cannabis said they were aiming to start offering the deliveries sometime within the day.The manager of Squamish Cannabis said they were aiming for an early August rollout.
A staffer from The Green Room said it was aiming to get the service ready as soon as possible, but a firm date has yet to be set.
The front desk of The Local Leaf said that its first delivery took place around 3:30 p.m. on July 15.
**Please note, this story has been updated to include a quote from Jorge Alvarez and the first delivery time of The Local Leaf.