Just less than a month after legalization, a shop in Grande Prairie has been approved for a cannabis retail licence. The first to make it to Alberta Gaming Liquor and Cannabis’ list of licensees is Lucky Leaf Cannabis Retailers, located at the intersection of 100 Street and 97 Avenue.
Owner Sheldon D’Souza says it’s an exciting step in the process, which has taken the better part of a year. It likely won’t be long before the store’s doors open to the public.
“We expect to open in the following weeks,” D’Souza says. “We’re pretty close; we just need to do the final touches on the store and buying the product and stocking the product and orientating staff.”
AGLC says there are currently 17 applications being processed for Grande Prairie, but can’t confirm when more can be expected to be approved. D’Souza says it’s a goal for Lucky Leaf to be the first open in the city, but he doesn’t want to rush.
“We want to make sure that we are ready when we’re opening and we’re not just opening for the sake of opening. We want to make Grande Prairie proud so I think that’s important for us to get things right the first time.”
Staff training is one of the final steps before opening day, and D’Souza hopes their knowledge and customer service will help the store stand out among the competition in the future. He also expects the store to have a different style and layout than others, giving it an edge.
“I think what we want, mostly, is to be a destination; to have people want to come here and experience it as sort of a destination instead of that clinical look that some stores are going for.”
An opening date for Lucky Leaf is expected to be finalized by the end of the month. Bud Runners in Peace River was the first cannabis retail store to open in northern Alberta Tuesday.