With the legalization date for cannabis approaching, Saskatchewan’s licensed retailers are gearing up to get into business.
But not all licence-holders are rushing to open their doors to customers next Wednesday.
While Oct. 17 is the legalization date for marijuana in Canada, Synergy Five Investments LP is taking a deliberate pause with its 5 Buds Cannabis outlets in Warman, North Battleford and Yorkton.
Synergy Five Investments partnership represents Athabasca Basin Development, Des Nedhe Development, Peter Ballantyne Group of Companies and Prince Albert First Nations Business Development.
5 Buds Cannabis retail general manager Corey Tyacke said there are too many details still to iron out to rush to next week’s finish line.
“We’re checking off all the boxes, we’re ensuring that we’re complying, we’re working with the governments to make sure that this goes off as well as possible,” Tyacke said. “We’re all going to learn a lot, this is going to be … by the end of this year we’re going to know much more about how legalized cannabis is going to operate in Canada than we do today.”
Tyacke said there are a number of different reasons for wanting to wait to open the doors to consumers, not the least of which are difficulties getting enough product from licensed producers.
He said he believes the supply issue will work itself out in a couple of weeks as the new industry finds its legs.
“(Producers are) smart people, they’re gonna have a plan and they want to get the product out as bad as we do …. everybody’s still learning, we don’t know what we don’t know right now.”
Tyacke said as they get over that huge learning curve, the opportunity presents itself for the business group leaders to get to know the communities they will be operating in.
“As the old phrase goes: ‘shake hands and kiss babies,’ and get to know the community and, you know, become the face of our business in that community as well.”
Tyacke said the Synergy Five Investment group intends to open its three 5 Buds Cannabis stores at the end of November.
Fire & Flower ready to bloom
A company that does not intend to wait to open its doors in Saskatchewan is Fire & Flower.
The Alberta and Ontario owners will unlock their Yorkton shop promptly on the 17th.
Vice-president, government and stakeholder relations, Nathan Mison said the company has ensured supply won’t be an issue.
“We have actually built a wholesale organization inside Saskatchewan which we have utilized our extensive relationship with licensed producers to supply our store, but also to give us an opportunity to sell to other people in the market that might have some challenges in acquiring product.”
Fire & Flower plans to open three cannabis stores in Edmonton on the same day the Saskatchewan retail outlet welcomes customers.
It is also pursuing licenses in Ontario, BC and Manitoba.
— With files from The Canadian Press