Why I buy cannabis from private retailers

Published on April 1, 2022 by David Wylie

Photo: David Wylie/the oz.
A debit machine at a private cannabis retailer is ready to accept a debit card.

I buy my pot from private stores.

I like to support mom-and-pop shops and local owners who took a risk and want to be part of the legal cannabis industry because they love the plant.

Some folks have the false idea that all stores are the same because they have access to the same products. But there is so much variety at private stores. I love walking into different ones and meeting the owners and budtenders. It’s one of the highlights of publishing the oz. magazine.

Each store has a unique vibe, from local art, different decor, and products they carry.

Everyone loves an underdog

In BC, private stores are the underdog. There aren’t a lot of industries where the government uses taxpayer dollars to directly compete against small businesses. Yet, in cannabis not only does the province operate stores, they also control supply and set regulations.

Sometimes, they don’t even follow their own rules. In March, BC Cannabis Stores started using a third-party service to make same-day deliveries in Metro Vancouver.

No one was more surprised by the announcement than private retailers, who pointed out that provincial retail policy forbids third-party delivery. Instead, private stores have to use their own vehicles and employees, as well as take on costly insurance.

We can do our little bit to help private retailers by choosing to support small local businesses.

These days, people don’t part very easily from their hard-earned cash (I know I don’t), so where we choose to buy our weed makes a difference.

This is the First Hit from the latest issue of the oz., Volume 2, Issue 1, which was just published—look for it soon in your local cannabis stores. If you want copies, email [email protected].


Here are our past four issue:

Issue 5 — Flying High with Pistol and Paris

Issue 4 — Of vice and zen

Issue 3 — Everyday cannabis

Issue 2  — Biggest ever outdoor crop