The owners of Greater Sudbury's second cannabis retail store say they are working as fast as they can to open, with the goal to be operating as close to April 1 as possible.
April 1 is the first day retail cannabis stores can operate in Ontario.
It has been known for weeks that a location will open on Marcus Drive, a Highlife marijuana store linked to Anton Lucic, one of two winners of the cannabis store lottery for the right to open an outlet in Northern Ontario in April. The deadline for public comment period for that outlet was March 6.
The second store, owned by Saturninus Partners, will be located at 2019 Long Lake Rd., in the Four Corners business section, near the Shoppers Drug Mart store in the South End.
When contacted by Sudbury.com, Michael Colborne, one of the Saturninus Partners, said they are opening the shop under the Canna Cabana brand, and the shop will be modern and accessible.
“We are in the middle of construction of the store,” Colborne said. “We're working hard. Hopefully it will be April 1st. We're working very hard towards that.
“We feel very comfortable that it's going to be a nice, big, modern store with lots of product and accessible to everybody. We're really looking forward to helping the Sudbury market.”
Like the Marcus Drive store, the Four Corners site has to go through a public comment period, which lasts until March 22.
Saturninus is working with High Tide, an Alberta-based, retail cannabis corporation also involved in manufacturing and wholesaling smoking accessories and cannabis lifestyle products. High Tide will help ensure the store follows all the regulations required under the Cannabis License Act.
Raymond Kahnert, spokesperson with the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario, said in an email that after the comment period ends, the AGCO will provide store owners with the comments, giving them five days to respond. A decision whether to allow the store to open will follow.
“Please note the AGCO will only licence operators and authorize stores once we are satisfied they have met all legal and regulatory requirements,” Kahnert said.
As far as meeting the April 1 deadline to open, he said there are 25 applications for stores currently at different stages of the process. As each reaches the public comments stage, the deadline for feedback will be amended.
“AGCO is making best efforts to process applications as quickly as possible so that licensees, if operationally ready, can open stores as early as possible in April,” Kahnert said. “That said, while the AGCO has dedicated resources working with each applicant, for our part, we will only licence operators and authorize stores once we are satisfied they have met all legal and regulatory requirements.”