Sask. to move to open market for cannabis retailers

Saskatchewan will move forward with a phased-in open market system when allocating cannabis retail permits, beginning in the spring of 2020.

The supply of cannabis for permitted retailers will continue to come from permitted wholesalers and federally licensed producers registered in Saskatchewan.

“A year has passed since legalization and most of the initial retailers are now serving customers in their communities,” Minister Responsible for Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority (SLGA) Gene Makowsky said.  “We’ve also had the opportunity to consider how Saskatchewan should proceed in the future.  We believe opening the market to more retailers will help meet customer demand while also helping discourage competition from unlicensed stores.”

Beginning in April 2020, SLGA will accept applications for cannabis retail permits in Saskatchewan communities with populations less than 2,500.  As well, proponents will be able to apply for permits in communities that were previously identified as eligible for permits but did not proceed.

In September 2020, SLGA will begin accepting permit applications for stores in all communities in the province.  Communities may opt out of having cannabis retail stores in their community.  Interested businesses and individuals will continue to be required to meet SLGA’s permitting requirements including a good character check, inventory tracking and store security.  Applicants will also need to meet local municipal requirements, including zoning.

“The phased-in approach is a balanced approach that will allow existing retailers to continue to operate and grow their customer base while facilitating timely opportunities for store openings in smaller communities,” Makowsky said.