While a random lottery was done to determine who will be able to sell pot in the province, one current dispensary owner isn’t surprised his name didn’t appear on the list.
Pat Warnecke is the owner of Best Buds Society in Regina. He had applied to become one of the retailers once recreational marijuana is legalized.
The province had 51 licenses available through a random lottery done by a third-party.
The lottery was done on a region-by-region basis with 157 entrees for Regina. In total, 1,327 applications passed the financial test to become for a retail store permit.
Warnecke, whose store was one of the places Regina police recently cracked down on, did not get a licence. He told the 980 CJME Morning Show Tuesday it didn’t come as a surprise.
“We thought that they would probably keep a lot of the cannabis people out of the industry and looks like that’s what they did,” Warnecke said, adding he believed the government didn’t want people who knew more than them about the cannabis industry.
“I think they just want to cleanse their palate, so to speak.”
While Warnecke didn’t receive a licence in Saskatchewan, Best Buds Society did receive licences to operate in Alberta.
Warnecke, a medicinal marijuana advocate, said their current location in Regina will remain open, helping people with consultation services. Their dispensary services, however, will be moved to a nearby First Nation.
“There’s a lot of people in our community that need this, we don’t have the support we need and we don’t have the access right now,” he said.
He told 980 CJME he’s heard concerns from people who use medical marijuana about who will run the stores.
The successful applicants have 45 days to begin the permitting process. Those holding permits to sell retail cannabis must be in operation within 12 months of legalization.
KPMG accounting, which oversaw the application process, is expected to release a fairness report in the coming months.