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Weedless in the capital: Supply goes up in smoke at Yk’s only retail pot shop

The liquor store in Yellowknife's Stanton Plaza recorded $714,702 worth of cannabis sales in the July 1 to Sept. 30 period. NNSL file photo

Yellowknife’s only retail pot shop has been without weed since Monday — and shelves aren't expected to be restocked until the end of the week or later.

Edward Eggenberger, the owner of the uptown Liquor Shop — the sole legal pot provider to consumers in the capital — confirmed the current shortage to NNSL Media Wednesday.

Cannabis oils remain in stock, but all other products, including pre-rolled joints and packaged pot, are sold out.

Eggenberger described the temporary shortage as a “one off,” and said the shop hasn’t had to deal with empty shelves since January of last year.

Eggenberger deferred all other questions to the Northwest Territories Liquor and Cannabis Commission.

NNSL Media has reached out to the commission and is awaiting a response.

Yellowknife's only retail pot shop has been without the product since Monday. Brendan Burke/NNSL photo.

The commission oversees the distribution of alcohol and cannabis in the territory. It’s administered through the GNWT’s department of finance.

Weed supply woes have been felt across the country since cannabis was legalized in October 2018, but the feds have stressed the problem has been largely remedied following early growing pains.

The territory has said the same.

In June, a department of finance spokesperson said the commission had “worked with suppliers to ensure a stable supply.”

“The market has responded and supply has not been an issue since February 2019,” the department stated last summer.

Eggenberger said he hopes to receive a shipment by Thursday, but NNSL Media spoke with customers — turned away from buying cannabis Wednesday night — who said employees informed them the shop would be without weed until Friday, if not longer.

A woman, who asked to remain anonymous, visited the uptown liquor shop Wednesday evening.

Looking to “relax” after a long day at work, she left “disappointed.”

She questioned whether a lack of access to legal weed would push people back to the black market — the opposite effect of what federal legislation set out to do.

Nelson Lacorne, another customer, told NNSL Media the shortage impacts a lot of his friends, who rely on cannabis to alleviate chronic physical pain, especially arthritis.

“Something should be done. It should always be there,” said Lacorne.

Echoing high demand seen across the country, the same uptown liquor store ran out of cannabis in short order after doors opened to legal pot purchasers on Oct. 17, 2018.