On May 8, Canora Cannabis opened its doors to residents in Canora and the surrounding area for the first time at its Main Street location.
Trish Mureseanu is the manager, and works with three staff members, the budtenders. She said the response to the store opening was encouraging.
“The support we have received from our community and surrounding area, has been amazing,” said Mureseanu.
Due to the COVID-19 situation, all customers have their hands sanitized upon entry to the store. Social distancing is encouraged, and a maximum of two customers are served at a time. There is seating available in the store for those waiting to be served. All staff all have access to masks and gloves.
Being a relatively new industry the application process to open the store was extensive and detailed, but Mureseanu said SLGA (Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority) was quite helpful.
According to information available on the SLGA website, it is recommended that applicants allow at least 180 days for processing for a retail or wholesale cannabis permit. Applicants are required to submit: personal information, a criminal record check, employment and investment history, personal and criminal history, personal financial information, and consent to obtain and release information and a declaration of honesty.
Information required for the proposed facility includes:
- A floor plan drawing of the warehouse space(s) or the retail store space and any related storage facilities
- A detailed description of the inventory management and sales tracking system that will be used
- tracking and reporting in the Cannabis Regulatory Policy Manual
- A detailed description of security measures for all facilities associated with the application
- Copies of documents verifying legal possession of the premises
- Copy of municipal business licence or written approval of the facility location(s) from the municipality
- Building inspection approval for all facilities.
The minimum age to purchase cannabis products is 19. Prior to opening, the store was rebuilt from the concrete up in keeping with the required security measures.
“Our security system is extensive and state of the art, including a custom-built reinforced steel and concrete storage facility for our product,” said Mureseanu. “In order to remain in the store and/or to purchase product, every customer must provide valid, government issued photo identification on each visit. We cannot provide cannabis product to anyone entering the store appearing to be under the influence of alcohol, cannabis or any other intoxicating substance. Our budtenders are trained to look for signs of intoxication in our customers and they will let them know that they will be welcome back into the store later.”
She said since legalization of marijuana in Canada, most illegal street dealers have been removed from the market.
“But that market has been replaced with a large online illegal market.” said Mureseanu. “Just because cannabis products are available for online purchase does not make it legal, nor does it come with any guarantee that the product you are getting is safe for use. To ensure cannabis product is legal to purchase in Saskatchewan, the wholesaler must be registered with SLGA, and must have a permit proving so, and cannot ship product across provincial borders.”
She has a ready answer for those who question why they decided to open the store in Canora.
“Why not Canora?” she replied. “This is our home and our community. Many recreational cannabis users pass through Canora to purchase their product from larger, chain stores operating in Yorkton and even in Regina. We want to support Canora and the surrounding area and provide employment for our community members. All our team members love Canora and are dedicated to supporting it in any way possible.”
Their goal for the store is to be a successful contributor to Canora’s economic community.
“We want to be able to give our customers top quality, safe and legal products combined with education on the responsible and safe use of cannabis.”
Mureseanu said during the application process, they discovered that Health Canada prohibits any advertising of Cannabis.
The science of Cannabis is ever evolving, and the legal market is a professional and legitimate business, focused on education and safe products at a reasonable price.
“Cannabis use is a personal choice with scientifically proven benefits and risks. It should always be consumed with caution.”
Mureseanu said she and the other members of the staff are looking forward to a long and mutually successful relationship with Canora and the surrounding area.
“We live here, we work here, and we are dedicated to our local community and the Parkland region.”