Just outside of Pilot Butte, Sask. off Highway 46, Allen Kilback is overseeing finishing touches on Eden. The store is slated for an Oct. 17 opening, and will be the recreational cannabis retailer for the RM of Edenwold, just east of Regina.
“The mill work is just about complete, the safe was completed first our security system is up and live. We’ve obviously done some painting and added colour to the facility,” Kilback said.
Eden will have a purple, green and white colour scheme, a splash of colour from plain white drywall that made up the interior when Global News visited on Sept. 18. The garage doors of the shipping facility Eden is located in, has also been painted bright purple. Eden’s logo will soon be added, helping visibility from the highway.
Between budtenders and security personnel, Kilback said 14 or 15 jobs have been created at Eden. Security is a main focus of the budding business.
“We looked at 32 different medical facilities, dispensaries, before we designed this,” he said. “I think once you come see our entry we have an area where you enter the facility, you pass through your ID. Once you’re 19 or older, then we’ll buzz you into our viewing area.”
Kilback added that he and his staff are looking to remove some of the stigma around cannabis, offering a welcoming, informative environment.
Once Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority (SLGA) inspections are complete, and all staff are trained, Eden will be opening its gates on Oct. 17.
“To be open, we worked extremely hard and had a lot of support, so it’s just awesome,” Kilback said.
With a legalization day opening schedule, Eden is in the minority among Saskatchewan cannabis retailers.
“All of this is a big undertaking and not everyone will be set to go for Oct. 17, but we expect these businesses will be ready as soon as possible,” SLGA spokesperson David Morris said.
“At this point we are estimating about one-third of the 51 locations may be ready by Oct. 17. Proponents will make their own business decisions about when they plan to open.”
Permit holders have up to one year to set up shop. The 51 retail permit holders were selected in June, but no retail or wholesale permits will be issued before Oct. 17.
The permitting process is extensive. It includes a good character check, approval of inventory management system, facility security review and standard government paperwork. Retailers also must comply with local bylaws that vary by community.
Global News reached out to several retail permit holders across the province, and is still waiting replies from most.
In Moose Jaw, the ownership group behind New Leaf Emporium anticipates opening their doors next Wednesday. Moose Jaw’s other selected retailer, SpiritLeaf, has not yet replied.
Up in Prince Albert, residents will have to wait a little bit longer. Canaba Cannabis plans on opening around Nov. 1 and Prairie Cannabis is expected to open in the middle of November.
Both are still working on getting their stores ready for business, which includes specific storage rules like a purpose built safe-room or a minimum 341 kilogram safe to store product overnight.
In Regina, work appears to be underway at two locations- 1302 Broad St. and 4550 Albert St.
The Uhersky family is hard at work on Wiid Boutique on Albert Street. Due the time it took to pass a cannabis bylaw in Regina, they received the keys to the location in mid-September. They anticipate opening just after legalization.
A person working at the 1302 Broad St. location told Global News they are not yet ready to disclose when they will be opening.
John Thomas said the Martensville, Battlefords, and Estevan locations of Jimmy’s Cannabis Shop would be open around legalization day in September. He could not be reached at the time of publishing this article. The Jimmy’s in Moosomin will open after Oct. 17.
Global News is still waiting to hear further details from other Regina and Saskatoon retailers.