Saskatoon is now home to six legal recreational cannabis stores.
Prairie Records opened two locations on Saturday, opening up on a day known as 4-20 — a day of action for cannabis activists.
The newly opened cannabis shops are owned by Calgary-based company Westleaf Inc. These are their second and third shops to receiving licencing to sell cannabis. Their first location opened in Warman, Sask., in February.
Adam Coates with Westleaf Inc. said they’re very excited to be opening up more stores in Saskatchewan and about building a 130,000 sq.-ft. cannabis cultivation facility in partnership with the Thunderchild First Nation.
“We’re incredibly excited to have a significant footprint in Saskatchewan,” he said. “With our cultivation facility, we’re building in Battleford, Sask.”
Thunderchild First Nation invested $8 million with Westleaf Inc. in 2017.
Coates said the First Nation community has been a valued partner in getting the growing facility off the ground.
“They saw the same shared vision and values of community and actually doing the right things in the cannabis industry,” he said.
The new cannabis facility is expected to benefit the First Nations community financially and also provide up to 150 jobs.
Coates said Westleaf expects the new licenced facility will be growing cannabis by the end of the year if everything stays on schedule.
“It’s really important to work with the regulator and the governments,” he said. “There are lots of regulations and it’s new ground for everybody.”
Since the legalization of cannabis in October of 2018, there have been some supply issues for retailers and keeping cannabis on the shelves has proven to be challenging.
Statistics Canada reports 79 per cent of cannabis sales are still being purchased through the black market.