Slave Lake’s first cannabis shop set to open – if it can get the product

Joe McWilliams
Lakeside Leader

Ending weeks of speculation, last week sources close to a local cannabis company informed The Leader that Slave Lake’s first retail cannabis store was about to open. Shane Knutson of MJM Contracting said he and the other local companies who helped Boreal Cannabis Company (BCC) get its space ready wanted to get the word out by way of a congratulatory message in The Leader.

However…. No sooner did that happen than news came out that cannabis supply in Alberta was running so far behind demand that the AGLC was issuing no more licenses. This followed reports that the AGLC had to scrap its online ordering system, after finding out it wasn’t working in a fair manner. Stores now have to submit orders ‘manually’ (according to a Global TV report) and the AGLC will divvy up the supply so that everybody gets at least some.

As has been previously reported, the Town of Slave Lake has issued five permits for retail cannabis. This does not necessarily mean there will be five.

Apparently, the AGLC application is an onerous process, due to the rules set up by the provincial licensing body. Boreal Cannabis was due to have its final AGLC inspection last Wednesday, and was hoping to be able open soon after that.

What kind of demand there will be in Slave Lake remains to be seen. BCC has a fairly large investment at stake. According to the rules, it can’t advertise whatsoever; even buying online ads is forbidden. Cannabis shop owners can let their friends know a shop is open and hope they spread the word. Otherwise, the sign on the shop is as good as it gets. Boreal Cannabis has an impressive one, which has drawn a lot of notice and comment over the past few weeks.

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