In the four weeks since marijuana has been legalized, dozens of Montrealers have tried to buy the drug from a neighbourhood florist. They’ve made these attempts in spite of several red flags. For one thing, the shop is clearly no newcomer to the community. It’s been in business for decades. For another, cannabis can only be legally purchased in Quebec through government-run stores.For people looking to get their hands on weed, though, those facts are overridden by their faith in search engines and the name of the store itself.
“People started to call and come in or ask for pot and oil and this and that,” Pia Teichmann, owner of The Flower Pot, told CTVNews.ca.
“Because I’m not a marijuana person, I had no idea initially what this was all about.”
When the calls and walk-ins from confused marijuana-seekers mounted, Teichmann and her staff were able to piece together what had happened. As Teichmann explained it, people had gone online and searched for nearby places to buy marijuana.
Search engine algorithms presumably twigged to the word ‘pot’ in the store’s name and offered it up as a suggestion. Teichmann estimated that her store has received nearly 40 inquiries about the marijuana plants they don’t actually have. Most, she says, are understanding once they realize their mistake. One man even said he’d return to the store another time to buy some flowers.
Sometimes, the 73-year-old Teichmann will be asked if she knows where the nearest legal SDQC store is. (For the record, she doesn’t.) One of her delivery drivers told her she should try marijuana for herself, although she doesn’t seem interested. “I’m too old for that,” she said. Teichmann, who bought The Flower Pot with her husband in 1976, said the apparent high demand for marijuana – even from a store that doesn’t sell it – has taught her an interesting lesson. “It’s probably much more profitable to sell pot than it is working with flowers,” she said.
Ironically, some prospective customers might have had about as much luck finding marijuana at The Flower Pot as they would have at the actual cannabis stores. SDQC shops have stopped opening their doors on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays due to persistent supply issues.