A crop of two more pot shops could pop up in Sherwood Park, adding to a total of eight going through the municipal process.
The latest round of Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission retail cannabis licence applications for Aug. 15 through Sept. 5 shows two more potential locations set for local land.
Both filed on Sept. 4, with a final objection date of Sept. 25, the first of the two applications comes from Brightleaf Cannabis., hoping to open a store of the same name in a retail unit at 130 Broadway Boulevard.
The location is southeast of Costco, near the Baseline Road Save-On-Foods and Fabricland.
A second retail cannabis outlet is being proposed by The Park Canna Club Ltd. for 6 Blackfoot Rd., in a complex that currently includes a massage therapy outlet and a real estate firm.
Once processes go through the AGLC, companies can apply for retail permit applications through Strathcona County.
That’s been the case for a total of eight applicants at the municipal level who have been issued permits for retail cannabis.
With noted permits issued between July 31 and Aug. 24, the first to secure their spot in Sherwood Park was Viridi Cannabis, looking to set up shop at 975 Broadmoor Blvd.
Fire and Flower, which has also submitted an application for Fort Saskatchewan, will be located on Lakeland Drive, while the county noted the aforementioned Park Canna Club was issued a permit on Aug. 13.
Starbuds is seeking a Sherwood Drive location off Wye Road, while Good Roots Cannabis Inc. is looking at Sherwood Drive closer to Lakeland Drive.
Finally, Aurora Cannabis has secured permits for three Sherwood Park locations on Clover Bar Road, Wye Road and Baseline Road.
The number of local units pitched through the permitting process for retail cannabis still places Sherwood Park at a lower number than is being seen in other municipalities, such as in Fort Saskatchewan, where a total of 10 permits are on the line.
The most recent applicant to speak to the nature of their plans, High Tide Ventures Inc., skipped Sherwood Park in a slew of development permit applications for stores in Calgary, Edmonton, Lethbridge, Morinville, Whitecourt and Fort Saskatchewan, the latter of which would host a downtown location.
Nick Kuzyk, the company’s chief strategy officer, said the development permit application is one of the last steps before opening a shop.
“This lets us enter into discussions with contractors to build the store and have it ready in time for Oct. 17,” Kuzyk said, acknowledging the federal date of recreational cannabis legalization.
The permit will lead up, also, to a final inspection by the AGLC, Kuzyk explained, before a business license can be issued.
“The best way to handle your neighbourhood where you have a store is to understand it the best you can and understand the cultural fabric of the postal code where you are situated, and serve the customer that is unique to that area,” he said.
So, why the Fort?
Well, Kuzyk said Fort Saskatchewan hosts a long tradition of seeing new ideas come into play, such as has been seen in the petrochemical sector, noting his belief that the retail pot outlet will be welcomed in the city of around 25,000.
“We believe Fort Saskatchewan has an open mind,” he said. “It definitely has had that as far as energy goes, and we hope it has that for cannabis.”
The High Tide Ventures location is expected to hire 11 employees per store, which Kuzyk added would include part- and full-time positions.
He noted the High Tide goal is to “establish the maximum number of outlets permitted” by one company in Alberta, which is 37 — adding his hopes that this can be done “right off the bat.”
—With files from Postmedia Network