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Cannabis fans high with excitement during national ‘holiday’ of 4/20

'It’s a day that every producer, every store, every staff member really talks about. There’s a lot of hype surrounding it. We just try and deliver on that hype,' said store manager Andy Ellis
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Millions of Canadians came together on April 20 — or 4/20 in common parlance — to honour a national holiday that celebrates all things cannabis.

Four-twenty is cannabis culture slang for marijuana consumption and also refers to cannabis-oriented celebrations that take place annually on April 20 in Canada and the United States. Now that marijuana is legal in The Great White North, many people can now gather throughout the country in a joint effort to Hail Mary (Jane) while having a chance to pipe up about their interest in the recreational activity.

At marijuana retail outlet Spiritleaf on Main Street North, manager Andy Ellis noted his storefront had been rolling up sales due to high demand.

“It’s been very busy. Everybody is in really good spirits,” he said. “Our storefront actually just reopened to the public as of (April 18), so just in time for 4/20. It has been awesome.

“Business is booming.”

Legalizing marijuana appears to have been a good move that made it easier to celebrate cannabis culture, Ellis said.

“It’s turned it into a very large holiday within the industry,” he continued. “It’s a day that every producer, every store, every staff member really talks about. There’s a lot of hype surrounding it. We just try and deliver on that hype.”

The use of marijuana in Moose Jaw appears to be fairly good, Ellis remarked. His business sees customers between the ages of 19 and 80, but customers between the ages of 50 and 60 appear to be the age demographic that frequents the store. The most popular items that customers float toward are pre-rolled joints, which make it easier for people to simply go home and light up.

Spiritleaf had been “very busy” right before it closed its doors when the pandemic was declared, Ellis continued. It has now taken additional steps to protect staff and customers now that it has reopened, such as installing Plexiglas, using hand sanitizer, providing masks for staff, ensuring there is physical distancing in place, and limiting the number of customers to four.

“Really just trying to help flatten the curve,” he added. “Business obviously slowed down when we closed our doors, but now that we’re back open, it’s right where we left off.”

Ellis was unsure if the pandemic had caused people to purchase marijuana since they might be more stressed. That could be the case for some, but for most others, using cannabis simply allows them to relax.

“I’m glad that we’re open and available to the public for 4/20 for the foreseeable future,” he added.

Down the street at Meta Cannabis Supply Co., manager Jen Heisler noted April 20 was an average day and nothing had changed too much for the business. It was as busy as it had been last year.

Legalizing cannabis hasn’t downplayed the significance of the day or its use, she continued. It has likely made additional people feel more comfortable to use the recreational drug.

The coronavirus pandemic hasn’t had too much of an effect on the business and it has been doing OK, Heisler added. Similar to other businesses, Meta Cannabis has installed Plexiglas, cleans more often, has changed its hours, and limits how many people can come inside.