News / Winnipeg

Winnipeg's Weeds glass and gifts says business is buzzing

Police interference hasn't been an issue for the pot shop that opened in Winnipeg in July.

Metro File

Pot shops across Canada have sprung up like weeds – only to get plucked by police – but the only medical marijuana dispensary to open in Winnipeg this summer reports no problem with the fuzz.

“Things are wonderful actually,” said Matt Monasterski, who helps run Weeds Glass and Gifts on Adelaide Street in the Exchange District.

The store opened in July, with the chain’s corporate management confident all would go well.

Rather than having cannabis on-site, the dispensary is actually a storefront head shop where anyone with “proper identification and a proper medical prescription” can sign up to receive mail-order marijuana medicine.

Owner Don Brier was adamant there was no reason to worry, as the store doesn’t do “anything illegal.”

“It’s good, safe, clean product that is not only legal and tested but creates jobs, pays taxes, (and) drains money away from organized crime,” Brier told Metro after opening.

A couple of months later, Monasterski reports “lots of satisfied, wonderful patients,” a 5-star rating from customers, and no police trouble.

“The Winnipeg Police Service did pay us a visit (when we opened). They spoke with my manager,” he said. “Their main concerns were safety and if we were doing our due diligence… (They) didn’t say we should close our doors or anything like that.

“We haven’t had any further contact at the store.”

Weeds Glass and Gifts is the second pot shop to open in Winnipeg, following Your Medical Cannabis Headquarters, which sold cannabis medicine for less than two weeks before it was raided and effectively shut down in August 2015.

When that happened, owner Glenn Price had dried product seized and is still awaiting court dates stemming from the incident. He feels he was a “political pawn,” used to send a message.

But with a different method of doing business, the new pot shop on the block is enjoying a different outcome.

“We are doing fine, hopefully we’re here to stay. We plan on serving Winnipeg for as long as we can,” Monasterski said, adding he’s “looking forward to legalization coming through, for everyone’s benefit.”