Josh Fedoruk and his $35 bag of cannabis he purchased on Oct. 17, the first retail purchase of cannabis in Chilliwack on the first day of legalization. (Submitted)

Josh Fedoruk and his $35 bag of cannabis he purchased on Oct. 17, the first retail purchase of cannabis in Chilliwack on the first day of legalization. (Submitted)

Local man celebrates first retail cannabis purchase in Chilliwack

But Josh Fedoruk’s 3.5-gram bag from Indigenous Bloom was not from a provincially licensed shop

Josh Fedoruk didn’t make it to Newfoundland to buy the first legal cannabis in Canada, nor did he even drive up to Kamloops to get the some of the first government weed in B.C., but he did make the first retail purchase of marijuana in Chilliwack on the first day of legalization.

At around 9 a.m. on Wednesday, Fedoruk visited Indigenous Bloom on the Kwaw-Kwaw-A-Pilt First Nation on Ashwell Road to buy a baggie.

“Proud to be Chilliwack’s FIRST legal retail Marijuana customer on this Oct 17, 2018!” he posted on a local Facebook group, along with a photo of him wearing a Cheech and Chong T-shirt holding his receipt and his purchase. “Congratulations Canada!!!”

Fedoruk purchased a 3.5-gram pack of the blueberry strain and paid $35 for it.

“I just happened to be the first guy who rolled in the door,” he told The Progress. “It’s a novelty being the first guy on the block.”

A sign recently posted at The Kure off Dyke Road on the Skwah reserve. (Paul Henderson/ The Progress)

Indigenous Bloom is one of two retail cannabis shops that were operating in Chilliwack until a few days ago. The Kure on the Skwah First Nation not far away recently closed its doors, posting a sign on the fence that read: “Temporarily closed until government licensing issued.”

Indigenous Bloom has stayed open and while it is not a store licensed to sell cannabis by the provincial government, the band passed a new “cannabis law” through their land code and they say they will be meeting or exceeding federal standards under the Cannabis Act.

In July, both local cannabis shops were raided by the RCMP who executed search warrants, but both were back open soon after and have not had subsequent raids.

• READ MORE: RCMP execute search warrants at Chilliwack cannabis shops on First Nations land

Up until recently, a wide variety of products were available at both The Kure and Indigenous Bloom, including edibles. As of Oct. 17, however, Fedoruk said it was just straight cannabis.

“Everything was flower and plant-based,” he said. “They are doing everything that they are supposed to.”

Exactly just how legal Fedoruk’s purchase was may be a grey area, but he said the package he purchased had a Health Canada sticker on it, information about how users should not operate heavy machinery and how thousands of people are injured in vehicle accidents after using cannabis.

Fedoruk buys cannabis for medical purposes, suffering from chronic kidney stones. He uses marijuana as an alternative to opiates that he said destroyed his gut.

“I got addicted and used cannabis products to get off them,” he said. “I’ve been opioid-free for seven or eight years.”

He’s a big fan of the lifting of prohibition and his purchase on Oct. 17 was for the novelty of being the first guy in town. He understands it’s early days and there are many wrinkles to be ironed out. Because of availability and the lack of retail shops, price will be fluctuating for a long time as the black market adjusts.

“My personal opinion is there is not going to be a price stabilization until late spring or early summer,” he said.

As for cannabis use and the stigma, Fedoruk thinks a few years down the road it will be as normal as having a drink after work.

“I think a lot of [the stigma] is going to be lifted. Mama needs a joint should be just as acceptable as mommy needs a glass of wine,” he said. “Dad sitting in his dad chair and instead of having his beer, he’s having a joint.

“My children have always known me as a medicinal user but it’s never been in their face. That stigma in 10 years is going to change.”


@PeeJayAitch
paul.henderson@theprogress.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

A sign recently posted at The Kure off Dyke Road on the Skwah reserve. (Paul Henderson/ The Progress)

A sign recently posted at The Kure off Dyke Road on the Skwah reserve. (Paul Henderson/ The Progress)

Just Posted

Once again Fraser East is among the health service delivery areas with the highest rate of COVID-19 transmission in the province. (Datawrapper)
Fraser East sees third highest rate of COVID-19 cases in B.C.

The region is seeing a sustained increase in new COVID-19 cases

Once a star player with the University of the Fraser Valley women’s basketball team, Kayli Sartori is moving into a new role coaching the next generation of Cascades. (UFV photo)
Chilliwack’s Kayli Sartori goes from court to coach with UFV basketball Cascades

Sartori is taking a new path as part of the U-Sports female basketball apprentice coaching program

The Kimber family of Boston Bar lost their home in a fire. Blaine Kimber’s daughter created a fundraiser to help rebuild the home with the goal of $100,000. (Screenshot/GoFundMe)
Fundraiser created for Boston Bar family that lost everything in weekend fire

Witnesses say the Kimber family escaped the fire without injury, but their home is a total loss

Police tape is shown in Toronto Tuesday, May 2, 2017. Statistics Canada says the country's crime rate ticked up again in 2018, for a fourth year in a row, though it was still lower than it was a decade ago. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy
CRIME STOPPERS: ‘Most wanted’ for the week of March 7

Crime Stoppers’ weekly list based on information provided by police investigators

(The Canadian Press)
‘Worse than Sept. 11, SARS and financial crisis combined’: Tourism industry in crisis

Travel services saw the biggest drop in active businesses with 31 per cent fewer firms operating

(Black Press Media files)
Hosts charged, attendees facing COVID fines after Vancouver police bust party at condo

Police had previously received 10 complains about that condo

Minister of Families, Children and Social Development Ahmed Hussen takes part in an update on the COVID pandemic during a press conference in Ottawa on Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020. A joint federal and B.C. government housing program announced today aims to help people living in up to 25,000 vulnerable households pay their rent. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Federal, B.C. governments announce $517-million rent aid program to help vulnerable

Benefits for those not eligible for B.C.’s Rental Assistance Program or Shelter Aid for Elderly Renters

(BC SPCA)
Is it safe to give your dog some peanut butter? Not always, BC SPCA warns

Some commercial peanut butter ingredients can be harmful to dogs

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Health Minister Adrian Dix, front, B.C. Premier John Horgan and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry arrive for a news conference about the provincial response to the coronavirus, in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, March 6, 2020. Pandemic emergency measures have been in place for almost a year. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. officials plead for patience as 1.7 million COVID-19 calls flood in

Vaccine registration for 90-plus seniors opened Monday

A West Kootenay man died in an avalanche on March 4 while snowmobiling near Mount Payne, which is indicted by the red flag. Illustration: Google Maps
B.C. father of 3 dead after avalanche in West Kootenay

The man was snowmobiling with a group when incident occurred March 4

Surrey RCMP are investigating a “serious” collision near Cloverdale Saturday evening. (Curtis Kreklau photo)
Man dead after single vehicle collision in Surrey; speed possible factor

Police say vehicle collided with telephone pole at approximately 9:30 p.m.

Most Read