Regina family turns construction business into cannabis cultivation

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WATCH: Starting a new business is always a risky move, especially when you're turning away from an industry three generations of your family have worked in. Taz Dhaliwal has more on the career pivot one Regina family made from construction to cannabis – May 23, 2021

Alex Kratz has always wanted to continue tradition and work with his family in some capacity, but when the family’s home construction business started to go south, he decided to switch gears and salvage things by going down a more budding path.

“Kratz Homes was around for a long time, we had a good name in Regina,” Kratz said.

“It wasn’t necessarily my passion going forward, and it wasn’t necessarily what my dad wanted to do anymore either, so we were just looking for something new, something different,” he explained.

In 2018, Alex was inspired by the potential the cannabis industry showed and decided to jump-start his own cannabis cultivation business from scratch.

Read more: Regina taking different approach to pot licences compared to Saskatoon

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“A couple of years ago, I read in the nation paper just about the opportunity about applying and we were kind of looking at a change anyway,” Kratz said.

“I brought the opportunity to my dad and we brought it to my grandpa and we went from there,” he said.

Now, after three years of lots of research and paperwork, the newly formed Western Cannabis family business is selling their product to stores all across Saskatchewan.

Kratz says their products are available in approximately 80 per cent of the cannabis stores in Regina and Saskatoon and 60 per cent across the province.

He goes on to say the family plans to expand to include more strains and a variety of products, such as pre-rolls. They also have plants dedicated to future research initiatives.

Joe Kratz — the patriarch of the family — who started the original family business in Regina in the 60’s after emigrating from Germany, says he couldn’t be prouder.

Read more: Saskatoon man calls for federal government to widen medicinal cannabis coverage

“I’m very happy. I hope they make a success out of it. We used to build houses, we’ve done real good and then things went down — this is a good future, I think,” said J. Kratz.

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Alex co-owns the business with his dad, Ralph Kratz, who says it took a lot of hard work to be able to secure licenses to be able to grow the cannabis, along with having the correct building codes in place.

But, despite the long, grueling hours they’ve put into rebuilding their legacy, he says he’s glad he gets to come into work with his family by his side.

“It’s nice to work with the whole family here. It can be challenging at times when you’re working with your sons and daughters and father and that kind of thing and wife as well, but other than that, I enjoy it and wouldn’t have it any other way,” Ralph Kratz stated.

Alex says as the family business continues to sprout, he’d like to thank everyone who carries on with supporting local, helping them reach higher levels of success.

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