With mere weeks left ahead of the first anniversary of cannabis legalization in Canada, on Oct. 17, 2019, nearly a third of the 51 shops originally selected in a lottery by the government of Saskatchewan have yet to open their doors in the province.
The clock is counting down.
The original 51 stores were given a year to open, and as such 16 Saskatchewan stores will forfeit their opportunity to enter the adult-use cannabis retail field if they haven’t opened by Oct. 16 of this year.
Six of those stores are no longer in the application process, including those of a BC physician whose application for three stores was rejected, according to the Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority (SLGA).
Reasons for the delay are familiar to anyone who’s watched the retail rollout in other provinces—the SLGA is still in the process of screening applicants and granting permits.
The screening process is primarily about determining the character and financial ability of the applicant.
Dave Martyn of Compass Cannabis told the CBC his company has selected a location and are ready to begin building their store, a process that could be finished by October 16—if only he knew what was delaying the SLGA in approving his application.
Should the 16 stores still waiting for the go-ahead fail to open on Oct. 16, an eager group of runners-up is ready to step in and begin making applications of their own.