Lethbridge’s first cannabis retail store to open Saturday
A little more than two weeks after marijuana became legal across Canada, Lethbridge is set to open its first retail cannabis store.
NewLeaf Cannabis opens its doors Saturday, meaning cannabis consumers will no longer need to travel to Calgary or Medicine Hat, or purchase their product through the Alberta Cannabis website.
NewLeaf founder Angus Taylor believes there is enough product to meet the demand in Lethbridge.
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“I think we’re prepared because we knew that we would likely be the first store open,” Taylor said. “So we got a little extra for that to make sure we’ve got enough for people.”
The store’s opening was delayed because the owners were waiting for product to arrive from Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis (AGLC).
Despite the wait, Taylor isn’t blaming the AGLC.
“They are constrained by the facts that they’ve got deliveries coming from across the country and they can only supply so much as they are receiving themselves,” he said.
The AGLC said some producers have agreed to shipments they weren’t able to meet.
“We continue to receive cannabis shipments and we’re working with licensed producers to make sure that product is coming in. But certainly, there’s a bit of a crunch being felt across the country in terms of supply that’s available,” said spokesperson Heather Holmen.
She said some of the products dedicated for the online store were sent to retailers to help with the demand at brick-and-mortar stores.
In Medicine Hat, at least one cannabis retail location had to shut down because of a lack of product.
The Green Exchange was forced to close its doors for four days in late October due to the high demand.
Three other local retail locations in Lethbridge have been granted AGLC licences, including a second NewLeaf Cannabis store on the west side, bringing the province’s total to 50 as of Friday afternoon.
Spiritleaf and Twenty Four Karats are the two other retail cannabis stores coming to Lethbridge.
Global News reached out to Spiritleaf to see when they plan to open, but they have not returned calls.
Twenty Four Karats says it is ready to open as soon as the AGLC sends them product to put on their shelves.
The City of Lethbridge said it has approved 23 cannabis retailer development permits.
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