Vancouver Island's second government-run cannabis store has opened in Courtenay, with a third island location soon to follow.
Courtenay's BC Cannabis Store opened in the town's Washington Square Shopping Centre at 759 Ryan Road at 10 a.m. Wednesday with a staff of 16 employees.
Meanwhile, a similarly sized BC Cannabis Store is set to open in Port Alberni on Wednesday, Sept. 11.
Both locations are said to share a similar design to Vancouver Island's first government-run cannabis dispensary that opened in Campbell River in late July.
According to the BC Liquor Distribution Branch (BCLDB), the stores will be different from the first BC Cannabis Stores that launched in Kamloops, as the new locations are preparing for the legalization of edible products this year.
"We know that edibles will be legalized soon so they will be designed to accommodate for storage and sale of that product line," said Viviana Zanocco, spokesperson for the BCLDB.
Store hours for both the Courteny and Port Alberni locations will be 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday to Thursday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sundays.
Meanwhile, more BC Cannabis Stores are expected to open across Vancouver Island, with approval received for a Parksville location and final approval pending for a store in Nanaimo.
According to Zanocco, no firm opening dates have been set for either location, though the Parksville store is expected to open before the end of 2019 at 826 Island Hwy. W.