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Vernon  

Vernon's first dispensary

A local marijuana dispensary is taking a look back at their five-year journey in an industry that has caused a lot of discussions, disagreements and rejoice over the past few years throughout Canada.

The Herbal Health Centre in Vernon's Alpine Centre was the first dispensary in Vernon and the first municipally licensed dispensary in the country.

"All the feedback from the community that has filtered to us has always been positive," said Tania Robinson, manager at THHC.

Years ago, when THHC first presented the idea for the dispensary to the City of Vernon there was no hesitation to go forward with the business.

Their business model was presented in a conservative manner and the goal, from the beginning, has been to provide cannabis to people for medical purposes.

They feel they have succeeded in their goals to do just that.

Walking into THHC is a unique experience. From the modern and professional decor to the friendly knowledgeable and helpful staff.

"We operate very differently and offer better customer service and a really strong lineup of products," Robinson said.

Since THHC's inception about 15 more dispensaries have opened their doors throughout the community. And they admit, it definitely impacted business.

"There is a lot of competition now and there used to be none," Robinson says. "We have to make sure that we're on our toes and doing a really, really good job of helping people with their cannabis needs."

It's been a long road but on Oct. 17 'recreational' cannabis will officially become legal across the country and for THHC that will change things, no doubt.  

"The Herbal Health Centre has been running a medical access model, so that changes things considerably," Robinson said. "Licensing for retail will only be recreational to start with."

As the first dispensary in Vernon THHC has plans to continue to grow.

Robinson says they hope to open another location in the near future, hopefully in Vernon's downtown core.

To celebrate five years in operation The Herbal Health Centre is hosting an event today at their business located at the Alpine Centre on Kal Lake Road.

THHC invites the community out to enjoy food and refreshments

"It's to show our appreciation to our clients and to the community for the strong run we've had for the past five years and to look forward to a new era," Robinson said.

The event runs throughout the day.



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