Yukoners line up for first legal pot sales

People were lined up outside of the new Cannabis Yukon retailer for roughly 30 minutes before it opened Wednesday morning, and the line kept growing through the first hour of legal sales.

"Happy weed Wednesday!'" said Steve Cummings of the Yukon Liquor Corporation, as he opened the store at 11 a.m. PT.

Colin Ruttle was first in line. He came out of the store a short while later with about $90 worth of pot.

"Nice to actually go in there and choose what you want, and get what you want," said Ruttle. "I just got a little bit, to see what they had here."

Ruttle said he bought multiple strains of cannabis, including a strain called Bubba Kush.

The Yukon government's online sales portal was also supposed to go live at 11 a.m., but it was redirecting users to an information page about cannabis in Yukon. It appeared to be operational shortly after noon.

Alexandra Byers/CBC

The Yukon Liquor Corporation says in the first hour of legal cannabis sales, 100 people visited the store in Whitehorse and $9,000 worth of products were sold in 75 transactions. By 5 p.m., 707 people had perused the store's wares, with 389 purchasing an average of $85 worth of products.

The online store cultivated 46 sales by 5 p.m., with an average $120 worth of product purchased with each sale.

From $8 to $19 per gram

Only a dozen people were allowed in the store at a time. Some shoppers coming out of the store were willing to show their purchases to reporters, but many did not want to give their name.

Some described the interior of the store as "bare-bones," and said it was a bit slow dealing with the sales personnel.

The available products range from $8 per gram to $19 per gram but the territorial government has said there will eventually be cheaper varieties, and more expensive "premium" pot.

Alexandra Byers/CBC

Ruttle said he's not yet sure whether he'll return to the store, or buy from other suppliers online. He said he'll sample the product and compare prices.

"I've got some other running around to do, but later on tonight I'll be able to sit and partake in a little bit of smoking," he said.

The store was open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., and by 5 p.m. about $40,000 worth of products had been sold both in-store and online in Yukon. By that time, the webpage had 21,000 views.

Matt King, president of the Yukon Liquor Corporation, said they haven't run out of stock yet but they will likely be out of some items by the end of the week.

"We don't have as much inventory on hand as we hoped for the start. We received more shipments today, we are receiving more tomorrow," he said.

"We have already been in touch with our suppliers to start forecasting for the coming weeks. I believe our second purchase orders have already been issued."

King said the the most popular items were pre-rolled joints and cannabis under 3½ grams.

With files from Alexandra Byers and Jackie McKay