Victoria pot shops brace for empty shelves as they try to go legal

The general manager of one of Victoria's many marijuana dispensaries says local stores may be faced with a period of being legal - but with no product to sell.

Alex Robb with "Trees Island Grown" says they, like many other private pot shops, are currently submitting paperwork with the provincial government to get licensed. He calls the process "a lot of muddling through."

Part of the application process is an inspection and Robb says "there cannot be any illicit product on the shelves at the time that they have the pre-inspection."

Robb says that will create a gap between clearing their old products and getting new marijuana from the approved government distribution system, "so there might be a period of time where people can't shop at individual stores."

He says that could be hard on customers who rely on marijuana to help with pain management or other symptoms, "Trees itself started when three different compassion clubs got together and shared operations, management, and supply chain. They're really providing a valuable and vital service for people in the community."

Only one government run store, in Kamloops, is expected to be up and running on October 17 when legalization comes into effect. Online sales will be the only other legal option at that time until more stores open or get their licenses approved.

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