Jake Canavan, the manager of Tasty Budd’s on Gerrish Street, said his clients are happy they’re back.
“Tasty Budds has a bit of a better image than Aunties, especially after the incident in the city,” Canavan said, referring to when police shut down and arrested the owner of an Aunties location in Halifax for distributing marijuana to non-medical customers.
Canavan said Tasty Budd’s is a different brand name than the former Aunties Health and Wellness, but many of their products and services remain – including dried cannabis, edibles, and more.
“We have more selection now, and we’re trying to have the same products as what’s in the city,” he said. “When we reopened, we decided to take the opportunity to rebrand.”
Customers require a prescription from a doctor and a medical license in order to purchase any product.
At least, until the federal government legalizes marijuana by July 1, 2018.
“We’re hoping we’ll be able to work out a recreational license when marijuana is legalized,” he said. “Even just a probationary period to see how it’ll affect the industry.”
Canavan said he believes legalization will be a big boost to business for dispensaries like Tasty Budd’s.
The Windsor-based business has approximately 130 regular clients, and that’s growing, Canavan said. Many of those clients are cancer patients and people who deal with mental illnesses and other ailments.
“I, myself, am a patient as well. I can’t sleep at night, and it helps with my insomnia,” he said. “It helps with pain, it helps with anxiety, and there are still studies being done on how it can help therapeutically.”
Canavan said he’s hopeful that legalizing, regulating and taxing of marijuana will get the drug out of organized crime.
“This is a great opportunity for entrepreneurs to get into a, pardon my pun, budding industry,” he said. “People are happy we’re back after being closed for a month, because some have had to go to the black market and don’t know what they’re getting. Travelling to our location in the city can be too costly for some locals.”
Brenda Pickrem, a client at Tasty Budd’s who recently joined the staff, said marijuana has helped her immensely with chronic pain.
“I suffered an accident that did a lot of spinal and nerve damage and none of the regular pain killers would work, and I didn’t want to get on those crazy pills,” Pickrem said.
“It was suggested through my doctor to give it a try and see if it works,” she said.
“I was floored.”
Pickrem said she’s been using marijuana for approximately one and a half years and said she’s seen improvements with her arthritis and other conditions.
“I’m down on all of my medications, sometimes I only need one or two puffs,” she said. “I was devastated when they closed for that short amount of time; I don’t even need to leave town now to get everything I need.”
Pickrem said she wasn’t a regular marijuana user before taking it for pain, other than the odd toke in her youth.
“It has 100 per cent helped me,” she said.