Nearly 10 months after cannabis was legalized in Canada, Penticton has its first retail pot shop.
Spiritleaf, located at 2695 Skaha Lake Road, opened its doors Saturday morning.
"My body might be tired, but my brain is going a million miles a minute right now," said owner Matthew Bolton, describing his excitement at being the first legal cannabis store to open in town.
They have been ready to open for months, having received approval from the City of Penticton this spring. All that was left was a provincial license, which was officially granted on Tuesday.
Bolton said they immediately got started on obtaining their cannabis in order to be sure they were open this weekend to fill what he calls a "long overdue" demand in the community.
"I started building the store here before we got the license from the city even, just because we knew the demand was there," Bolton explained.
The demand was definitely there Saturday morning ahead of their opening.
"When we opened the doors at 10 a.m., we actually had to lock them between the 9 and 10 hour because people kept coming in to see if we were open yet," Bolton said with a laugh. "But when we finally unlocked it and opened the door there were about 10 or 15 people out in the parking lot waiting to come on in, and we've been going at it ever since."
He says the customers have been mixed so far, ranging from seasoned cannabis users who know what they want to greener users who need guidance.
Spiritleaf is open daily. A further two cannabis stores are also close to being ready to open, Cannabis Cottage and Greenery Cannabis Boutique, both on Martin Street.