Former manager ‘disappointed’ as Best Buds Society shuts down
A Riversdale dispensary has shut down with plans to renovate into a vape lounge.
Best Buds Society formerly sold cannabis to customers with a medical license, but on Thursday afternoon staff were denying customers.
"Unfortunately the Best Buds downtown has to deny people now. From a patient aspect, I was very disappointed,” said Chris Jordan, the dispensary’s former manager.
The move follows a warning from police. Officers visited four Saskatoon dispensaries with a letter urging the shops to voluntarily shut down. Under legislation, only people with a cannabis retail permit can operate.
Jordan said there’s plans to renovate the dispensary into a vape lounge, expected to open in November.
No low-income marijuana option
Jordan said he worries for Best Buds’ low-income customers.
"These people who use cannabis from a harm-reduction standpoint, they’re used to paying $6 per gram to get them through the next couple hours – to keep them off opioids or meth,” Jordan told CTV News.
“Now, they're forced to pay $18 per gram. So they're forced to go to the street because they can't afford the stores."
Saskatchewan has the most expensive recreational marijuana in Canada at $13 to $19 per gram.
Jordan said he expects crime to increase as dispensaries shut down.
Customer relies on dispensary for Crohn's treatment
Alicia Yashcheshen was denied access inside Best Buds Society on Thursday.
She said she’s been going to the dispensary since it opened a year-and-a-half ago.
"I suffer from Chron’s disease and chronic pain from car accidents. Best Buds is my lifeline,” Yashcheshen said.
"The legal licensed producer market doesn't create a product called FECO – which is a full extract oil and that's what I need to keep me alive.”
Yashcheshen and other dispensary activists plan to protest in front of city hall.