By Matt Sitler
One of the region’s newest medical marijuana dispensaries is seeing its customer base grow just as Canada’s pot laws seem set to become less restrictive.
Cal White, a franchisee owner with Legacy 420, opened his shop in the Wahta First Nation on the Friday of the past May 24 weekend, right across from his other business The Wahta Station on Muskoka Road 38.
The franchise has its head office in the Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory and White’s dispensary is the first Legacy 420 outside that First Nation.
He decided to get into the business to provide a one-stop local access for medical pot after hearing about problems people faced having to go on websites to place their orders and then waiting for Canada Post to deliver.
“There were some problems with that and certainly with the looming postal strike there’s even more concern about it,” he tells Muskoka News Watch.
Dispensaries in wait and see mode
White says his dispensary is open to all who qualify and that his customers already number in the hundreds.
“Some are local, some are obviously cottagers up here,” he says. “It’s pretty much the same demographic that comes and buys the smokes. We’re talking Gravenhurst, Bracebridge, Midland, Barrie, Orillia – all down in those areas. It’s a pretty wide circumference really.”
For the most part it’s been more of a mature age group who’ve been showing up, he adds.
“The average customer is probably between 50 and 60 years old,” says White.
Although he says there are no restrictions as to the type of pot strains he can sell at the dispensary, he currently sells four but says they are looking to provide customers more variety in the future.
White notes the general public mood about medical marijuana dispensaries is that it’s in a kind of wait-and-see mode. He’s not had any trouble with the law or opponents of these types of new ventures.
“So far we’ve not been bothered and we don’t really expect to because we’re on First Nations (land),” he says. “I know one of the biggest fears is that (some people) think we’re going to start selling to kids or just anybody off the street and that’s really not true. It’s the same as the smoke shops. I don’t know any responsible smoke shops that would even consider selling to kids. We card people all the time, both at the smoke shop and the marijuana (dispensary). We’ll card anyone that looks under 25.”
To buy marijuana from the dispensary, White says people need to have their medical marijuana card issued by Health Canada, a copy of a prescription they have or one of their pill bottles to show they have an actual condition that’s treatable by cannabis.
“I think people are finally coming to realize it’s not the ‘demon weed’ like we were told by Big Pharma as far back as the 30’s,” says White. “It’s just another medicinal plant and the First Nations have been using plants as medicine for all of eternity, so this is really nothing new to us.”
Legacy 420 is open between 11am and 7pm Sunday to Thursday and 11am and 9pm Fridays and Saturdays. The dispensary is located at 2190-A Muskoka Road 38 right across from the Wahta Station.
(Photos by Muskoka News Watch)