More retail cannabis licenses granted across Alberta; two more come to GP

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Competition in the retail cannabis market is about to pick up in the Swan City. Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis has released more licenses to sell cannabis across the province, including two in Grande Prairie, which went the Canna Cabana and Peaceleaf. That now makes three licenses granted in the city, as Lucky Leaf had been the lone licensee since the legalization of recreational marijuana use back in October.

It’s been a long time coming for Peaceleaf Owner and Vice President Roberto Lopez, who first applied for a retail license through AGLC back in May of 2018 in anticipation of legalization. But with a severe lack of supply from producers across the country, AGLC had suspended accepting new applications, while also halting the issuing of new licenses. That left businesses like Peaceleaf hanging.

“It was obviously very trying,” said Lopez. “You have a lot of expenses when you open up a business, and there were no breaks for us. People don’t do that; they expect their money… It was pretty trying for a year. Kind of stressful, to be honest.”

Lopez says they tried to open prior to being granted the license, selling paraphernalia and accessories, but says it just didn’t work out. With that, they closed up shop after only a couple of months.

But now the issue of supply is steadily improving and AGLC is issuing out more licenses once again, which could come as good news for more retailers across Alberta.

“What I have been told, AGLC is issuing five licenses per week, so I am assuming that the supply issue has been fixed, at least a little bit,” said Lopez. “For them, the licensed producers, it was just really difficult to serve all of Canada at one time. Everyone is demanding it and they just couldn’t get enough supply out there.”

Lopez says he is hoping Peaceleaf will be fully up and running again by Canada Day long weekend but says an exact opening date will be posted on their social media accounts.

“We’re ecstatic to be able to open and serve everyone in the Peace Country, because the competition has been lacking,” said Lopez. “We’re just really excited.”

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