The indication from one of the successful applicants for a cannabis retail permit in North Battleford is they want to be ready to go as soon as possible.
That is the word from James Davey, president and CEO of Envirosafe Chemicals Canada Ltd., which was selected June 1 for one of North Battleford’s two cannabis retail permits by the Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority.
The company has its headquarters in North Battleford. They will be retailing under the name Curativa Cannabis.
“Curativa Cannabis will be our marketing and trade name,” said Davey. A webpage, curativacannabis.com, is already up, which will provide some background of their plans for the product.
“We can’t sell it yet, until we get our licence of course, but we are online and giving people an idea of where we’re going with the product.”
Their intention is to expand their current 12,000-square-foot operational facility on 10011 Thatcher Ave. in North Battleford to include a stand-alone retail store.
Curativa Cannabis plans to add 400 square feet to the east side of their current building for the retail store. The rest of the facility will focus on the production of medicinal marijuana.
the City of North Battleford is in the process of passing zoning amendments that would allow cannabis retail as a discretionary use in commercial zones and cannabisTproduction in industrial zones.
Last year, Envirosafe Chemicals Canada were granted municipal zoning approval for the production facility, located in Parsons Industrial Park.
Davey says his company has been keeping City Hall informed of what they have been doing. He doesn’t foresee issues at the municipal level with getting a retail store off the ground.
“We’ve all been cleared for the production site, so this site would be fine for retail sales,” said Davey. “We don’t anticipate any problems with that.”
The building will be fully secured, with fencing around the area, said Davey.
The store will be a “clean, comfortable” space with professional staff, where customers can choose whatever products they want. There will be a wide range of products available. They are already negotiating with well-established medicinal cannabis suppliers for retail sales.
The production site is still a work in progress. It must be federally regulated, and for the past several months the company has been going through the process of getting regulatory approvals from Health Canada.
It was a process just to get a registered number to begin, Davey said.
“We’ve gotten that issued now, we’re past security clearance, so we’re down to our final strokes to getting our permit to produce.”
Once Envirosafe Chemicals gets their federal permit, they will add 30,000 square feet onto their current building for production operations.
“We hope to grow 30,000 square feet worth of cannabis,” said Davey.
The retail store is expected to employ six people while the production side would employ about 30.
lDavey says potential customers are looking forward to egalization.
“A lot of people are excited, especially the ‘millennial’ people,” said Davey. He notes those customers particularly want to see a clean product come to market, free of the sort of safety issues associated with illegal products.
“They want to see a nice clean product come out to the market,” said Davey.
Davey is excited that his company was fortunate enough to win the lottery for one of the two North Battleford cannabis retail outlets, noting there was only a four per cent chance of winning.
“It was a hard feat to get over, but we won it,” said Davey. “So we got the licence and we’re off and running.”
The other permit for North Battleford was won by Synergy Five Investments LP, which is owned by five Saskatchewan First Nations organizations.
Opening of the retail operations is still a question mark.
July 1 has long been talked about as the date for federal legalization, but there is recent speculation the date will be pushed back. Davey says egalization is more likely to happen in September.
Davey says he believes the state of limbo mainly has to do with governments trying to get a handle on all the details of product handling and distribution, as well as how to police it properly.
“We pretty well know how to do it here, but it’s a brand new market,” said Davey. “It’s like gas and oil when it came out the first time.”
For his part, Davey says he wants Curativa Cannabis to be ready for business as soon as legalization happens.
“I want to be on the ground ready to open the door on the day they finally say it’s going to be legal,” said Davey.