Most Sask. retailers not ready for marijuana legalization

Most marijuana stores in the province are not ready to open on Canada’s legalization date, as shops deal with cannabis supply shortage.

Saskatchewan’s Liquor and Gaming Authority (SLGA) estimates only about 20 per cent of retailers will be open.

“At this point we are estimating about 10 to 12 locations (of the 51 marijuana retailers) across the province may be ready by Oct. 17,” SLGA spokesman David Morris said in an email.

Geoff Conn said he wanted to open his store, The Pot Shack, on Oct. 17, but he doesn’t have enough supply.

Conn said he needs about 110 pounds of marijuana per month, but only has about 45 pounds.

“If we were to open, we’d close in about seven days,” Conn told CTV News inside his shop off 8th Street East in Saskatoon.

“There’s an issue with supply. I think some of the growers have overestimated what they have available.”

Conn said Saskatchewan is at the bottom of the food chain for marijuana supply.

“In Alberta and B.C., the retail outlets have to buy from the government. In Saskatchewan it’s up to us, the retailers, to make those arrangements and agreements,” Conn said.

“If a licensed producer has already made an agreement for say 100,000 pounds of cannabis to the Alberta government, and all we want is 20 or 100 pounds a month, well they’re the bigger customer.”

SLGA said all Sask. retailers are undergoing the permit process – which includes ensuring shops have appropriate security and pass inventory regulations.