Fredericton — With legislation to legalize marijuana stalling in the Senate, Cannabis NB stores won’t be opening in the Picture Province until at least fall — a few months later than the hoped-for July 1 launch.
“Eh, makes no difference to me,” said weed-buyer Dave Byers, 32, of Devon. “I’d sooner head up to the Two Nations Crossing Walmart like I been doin’ the past few years.
“My dealer’s usually out back anyways and he’s always got good sales on. I saw a picture of one of them new store designs on the CBC and it seems a little too rich for my blood. Looks like one of those Apple stores for fancy nerds.”
Byers said he prefers that the person selling him weed look and smell as if they haven’t showered in a week, invade their customers’ personal space, and insist on taking them for a sketchy drive around the block.
“I don’t care about iPads on a desk, I want that little rush of fear…gets the adrenaline goin’! I like to always be kinda wonderin’ if the weed is even going to be any good. It’s all part of the experience.
“And to be honest,” he added, “I’m kinda worried they’re gonna recruit my buddy from out back the Walmart to work in one of them shiny stores, and I’ll be shit outta luck. But he ain’t bilingual so not much risk of that, eh? Hahaha!”
Other New Brunswickers are on the same page as Byers.
“NB Liquor’s gonna be just as outta touch when it comes to selling pot as they are with booze,” said Dirk Manderson of Nashwaaksis, lighting a dart before heading out to Burger King for lunch.
“If I could buy beer from behind the Walmart I would, but for now I just go there for the most kick-ass weed in Freddy Beach. I don’t care if the new stores are delayed a month, a year or forever — they look way too nice for me to walk into wearing no shirt and flipflops. I s’pose they’ll have a dress code like everywheres else in this friggin’ city.”
NB Liquor CEO Brian Harriman said the stores’ delay only means they’ll have time to put finishing touches on the layout, and perfect their already sleek design.
“We think we know what people buying marijuana want — to enter a building that looks like a cross between an Urban Outfitters and the DMV, a flood of bright lights, a bunch of salespeople confronting them, a large number of difficult choices to make, moderate- to high-priced products, and having to be on camera and show ID. You know…the same things people buying alcohol want.
“We’re making it happen and, trust us, it’ll be well worth the wait.”