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  • Robert Lovell

NSLC has POTential

Updated: Sep 27, 2020

Sydney, N.S.

Robert Lovell

We were doobie-ous they could pull it off. Week one of legal cannabis is in the books, so Caper Times decided to see what all the buzz was about.


Sydney River NSLC, the only legal source of cannabis in Cape Breton.

The inside was like any other NSLC joint — aside from a slight whiff of herb and a new section walled off from peeping eyes labelled ‘CANNABIS’. The cannabis section is very bright, white and clean with woodgrain panelling on the front counter. There are also TVs and signage on the walls, informing customers on the strains available and their purported effects.


A couple NSLC leaflets for people new to cannabis (left) and an explanation of the process for purchasing cannabis. Minors are not allowed in the cannabis section—not even babies.

The queue line has a banking style layout; one winding line with 4 cashiers. The line demographic skewed younger; though there was an older gentleman ahead of me who confided that his doctor recommended he try some ‘chronic’ for chronic back pain.

After a few minutes in the line (which was moving people through quickly), an employee called people over to line-adjacent tables in an attempt to weed out customers who didn’t know exactly what they wanted. Here employee and customer sparked up conversation to hash out the strain and amount they might be interested in.

Cannabis products are divided into 4 categories based on the plant strain: Relax (pure indica), Unwind (indica dominant hybrid), Centre (sativa dominant hybrid), and Enhance (pure sativa). The indicas produce a mellow “body high”, while the sativas give a “mind high”. Unfortunately, many strains in 1 gram and 3.5 gram pre-packaged amounts were out of stock at the time.


Consumer info from the federal government is thrown in the bag with every cannabis purchase. Of note under ‘Consumption Basics’: “Avoid smoking cannabis”

My cannabis consultation took about 5-10 minutes, at which point I was given a slip of paper with the strain and amount I was looking for. I was then ushered to the front of the line; they really want to encourage people in line to know exactly what they’re getting to keep the line moving. They were doing a good job at it too; the gentleman in front of me earlier was after leaving by the time I got there.The front counter staff filled my order and placed the sticky-icky in a sealed brown paper bag. Overall,staff were friendly, knowledgeable, and they succeeded in making the space a welcoming environment.


The packaging for 1 gram and 3.5 gram amounts respectively. This 3.5 gram packaging was not completely smell-proof.

The whole trip to NSLC took only about 15 minutes, which is pretty dope when you consider that this was the 4th day of legal cannabis on the 20th of October. I rate my cannabis buying experience 420 out of ten for fast, friendly service. One thing that could be improved is the packaging—the bulky plastic containers aren’t very green—or smell-proof.


The only legal way to transport the ganja according to Nova Scotia RCMP. A driver has already been fined $295 for driving with cannabis in reach.

If you haven’t got enough space in your trunk, or if you’d simply rather your purchase be a little more discreet, you can shop online and have products delivered to your door for a small fee. In order to do so, you must pick up a online access card at any NSLC location, free of charge. Note that in order to recieve the package, someone over the age of nineteen must be present at the time of delivery.

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