An Alberta-based cannabis company has opened a marijuana concept store as Canadians prepare for cannabis legalization.
Cannabis seller Fire and Flower has set up the store in Edmonton, after being one of the first companies to receive conditional approval from the province.
While they cannot yet sell cannabis, the company hopes their concept store will give them an advantage as they apply to open more stores across the province.
“For us, creating the store you see around you today was really important, it shows our regulators what a store will look like,” Fire and Flower CEO Trevor Fencott told CTV Edmonton.
The company plans on opening 10 locations across Edmonton and 37 across the province of Alberta, but to do so they must rise above a pool with over 700 applications.
Furthermore, Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission say they expect to issue only 250 licences across the province in the first year of legalization.
“I think by having a concept store with all of our systems up and running… will give us a significant advantage,” said Fencott.
Within the stores, actual cannabis will be kept safely in the back, while the front of the store will have a variety of cannabis-related products.
While conditional approval is an important milestone, the company still has a number of obstacles to overcome.
Before they can be awarded an interim provincial licence, the store must face provincial inspectors ensuring they have the proper systems, procedures and security in place to store cannabis in house.
“We are very excited about this; we have been working very diligently with the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission as well as municipal and federal government to get this project going,” Fencott said.
Actual licences won’t go out until the federal legalization date on October 17th; the company hopes to have all 10 Edmonton locations open to the public on that date.
With a report from CTV Edmonton’s Bill Fortier
Full story is available here.