Jeff Weaver says Jimmy’s won’t be opening its Rossland story until later this summer, if all the provincial approvals come through. (Submitted photo)

Rossland’s pot shop still a few months away from opening

Jeff Weaver says he’s confident his chain is being prudent with its plans

It’s going to be later this summer before Rosslanders can walk down Columbia Avenue and buy cannabis from a local retailer.

“Every month I think, ‘I bet it’ll be next month,’” laughs Jeff Weaver. “So based on my previous betting, I’d say July or August, and August is the best-case scenario.”

Weaver is the manager of Jimmy’s Cannabis Shop, the only recreational dispensary approved to date by Rossland city council.

He’s spent the last few weeks renovating the interior of an historic storefront, and is now awaiting word he and his business partners have passed their security and fitness checks from the province.

“When we get that email I can bring an inspector in right away,” he explains. “Then we’ll get conditional approval. Then it’s more the logistics of opening a retail store — getting the point-of-sale system up, hiring and training staff, etc.”

“But you need conditional approval before you can order products, and you need product here in order to train your staff. So I’d say after we get conditional approval we’ll be about a month away.”

Some retailers have complained about the byzantine and opaque process for getting retail licences, but Weaver is stoic about the delays.

“We don’t know where we stand, they don’t give you any information,” he says. “But that’s dealing with government regulation. You deal with the same thing with government when you’re trying to open a bar or restaurant.

“It takes the system time to process applications. You have to be patient and do it right.”

Weaver’s hoping his company is doing it right. He’s managing four potential Jimmy’s stores in the Kootenays — in Cranbrook, Creston, Castlegar, and Rossland — and is looking at possible Jimmy’s shops in other centres.

The company just sold its interest in four licences in Saskatchewan to another retailer, but Weaver says that deal won’t affect Jimmy’s business plans in B.C.

“We have four stores planned now, and would like to get to eight in B.C.,” he says. “But right now we are focusing on the Kootenays.”

Weaver’s confident of his business’ chances for success.

He operated Rossland’s only grey-market dispensary before legalization, successfully navigating between local government, police, and the demand for cannabis products when they were still illegal.

And he says the company has been prudent with its spending, and has picked out great locations in the four Kootenay communities.

Competition is beginning to appear — in Castlegar, he’ll be up against against four other cannabis retailers, all of whom should be open well before Jimmy’s.

But Weaver says it shouldn’t matter too much that they’re not in those markets first.

“I firmly believe when you get in the market, customer service is important, parking and high traffic areas are what set locations apart,” he says. “And all our four locations are the best in each community we’re in.

“So as frustrating as it is to be delayed, when we hit the ground I think we’re going to have at least as good a chance as anyone else at succeeding.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Province looking at steps to dissolve Jumbo resort municipality

Disincorporating municipality will likely require a legislative change, according to the province

Coldest Night of the Year returns to Cranbrook in February

Canadian Mental Health Association Kootenays plans to raise $20K

Almost 20,000 parking tickets issued by Interior Health at hospitals in 2019

In 2018, pay parking in Interior Health hospitals totalled $5.3 million of their $2.2-billion budget

New autonomous technology program debuting at College of the Rockies

The College of the Rockies is launching a new two-year Autonomous Systems… Continue reading

City to co-host climate info session in February

City, environmental organizations invite public for discussions on climate change and action

Four things ‘not’ to do if you run into Prince Harry and Meghan in B.C.

Here is a list of some things you definitely should NOT do, according to the BBC

Manitoba RCMP spent less than $800K on massive manhunt for Port Alberni men

Manitoba RCMP helped with 17-day search through the province’s northern terrain

Man killed by police in Lytton called 911, asking to be shot: RCMP

Howard Schantz, also known as Barry Schantz was killed following a standoff at his Lytton home

Canadian public health agencies ramping up preparations in response to new virus

Health officials have said there are no confirmed cases of the emerging coronavirus in Canada

‘Naughty boy’: Monty Python star Terry Jones dies at 77

The comedian has been suffering from a rare form of dementia

Harry and Meghan should cover their own security costs: NDP heritage critic

The prince, Meghan Markle and their eight-month-old son Archie are reportedly staying at a mansion near Victoria

Theo the 800-pound pig trimmed down and still looking for love on Vancouver Island

“He’s doing really well, lost quite a few pounds and can run now.”

Horgan unveils B.C. cabinet shuffle changes

Premier John Horgan has made three major changes to his cabinet

Dog reunited with Tofino owner, months after being taken from beach

Shannon Boothman ‘ecstatic’ at pet’s return after a tip leads to social media search

Most Read