By Andru McCracken

There is going to be a new place to get your weed in Valemount, and this one will be legal.

Rural Leaf Ltd., a Smithers-based company that owns two other shops in Northern BC, got word March 19 that their license was approved by B.C.’s Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch.

Robson Valley Cannabis is being hatched by Rural Leaf with the assistance of two local managers. The cannabis store will be located at 1201 5th Avenue next to Unique Boutique in downtown Valemount.

“It’ll be good to actually get open and get to the next step,” said Alfred Schaefer, co-owner of Rural Leaf.

He said plans to open the shop were first crafted in June of 2020, so it’s taken just under a year to get to this point. They’ve been working closely with local managers Justen Wilkes and D’Arcy Sloan.

“We’re just excited to get this open and past the line,” said Schaefer.

Schaefer said by purchasing through a store, customers not only access Health Canada-regulated, purity-tested cannabis, they also benefit from the knowledge of the salesperson in the specific effects of different strains.

They are shooting to have the shop open for April 20, or “420,” but it’s unclear if things will proceed that quickly.

4/20 is code for smoking marijuana and April 20 has become a day when people gather to celebrate and consume cannabis, often advocating for its liberalization.

Schaefer said the opening timeline is somewhat uncertain, because provincial inspectors need to approve the store before it can open. They are hiring for local positions and people will be able to apply soon. Watch for job postings.