White Rock’s first, and only, cannabis retail store has opened its doors to the public.
A Little Bud, located at 1484 Johnston Rd., opened Aug. 18 and held a “grand opening” Saturday from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m., with social distancing measures in place.
The store sells a collection of cannabis-related products including dried flower, oils, cannabis-infused candies and cannabis-infused drinks.
Store co-owner Randy Tingskou told Peace Arch News Sunday morning that he is grateful for the warm reception they have received by the community.
A Little Bud’s origins are in Abbotsford, where the company previously operated a “medicinal dispensary” from July 2017 to Oct. 2018.
While the store has origins in Abbotsford, Tingskou said his parents call White Rock home.
He said the store will donate 2.5 per cent of all profits to local non-profits. On the day of launch, A Little Bud placed a donation barrel inside the store to collect non-perishable food for the South Surrey/White Rock Food Bank.
The bin is to remain inside the White Rock shop until Sept. 30.
Tingskou said cannabis enthusiasts are “kind, generous and giving” people, and that the initiative to collect money and food for the community began at its Abbotsford store in 2017.
“Since then, we donated about $20,000 cash and 70 barrels of food for the Abbotsford food bank, and we want to contiune that in White Rock,” he said.
The shop makes the second for the Semiahmoo Peninsula, with Indigenous Bloom – which opened June, 2019 – selling cannabis on Semiahmoo First Nation.
The City of White Rock approved the dispensary last February. A Little Bud was one of three stores that were under council’s consideration.
One of the key issues councillors raised with the approval of A Little Bud’s application was that it was to be located approximately 80 metres from a daycare.
Coun. Anthony Manning said during the council meeting that while he understood the concern, he noted that Sandpiper Liquor Store has been operating across the street from White Rock Elementary for a number of years.
Coun. Scott Kristjanson said he would rather see the building being used – which was previously home to King Koin Laundromat – rather than sit vacant.
The City of Surrey has not yet approved a cannabis store within its city limits.
In January 2019, Surrey officials said they received nine applications for cannabis retail licences, but none were considered.
“All have been told that the City of Surrey is not accepting any applications,” Jas Rehal told Black Press Media last year, the City of Surrey’s director of public safety operations.
“The bylaw prohibiting cannabis retail and production in Surrey has not changed and remains in effect.”