ReLeaf NT and Trailblazers Cannabis Shop will open for retail marijuana sales in Yellowknife, the GNWT said in a news release on Tuesday.
ReLeaf will operate out of its 51st Street location, where it has been selling cannabis accessories.
The start of its retail cannabis operations comes almost one year after the shop’s Request for Qualifications submission was successful, the first step that prospective cannabis vendors must take in the process of becoming a licensed seller.
“We’re excited to officially announce ReLeaf NT as a designated cannabis retailer,” said owner Luke Wood. “We’ve spent the last eighteen months working through the rigorous qualification and proposal process. We’re now putting the finishing touches on our new full-service, cutting edge downtown location. We are looking forward to our new partnership with the Northwest Territories Liquor and Cannabis Commission (NTLCC) and serving Yellowknifers.”
It wasn’t clear when ReLeaf will begin selling cannabis products.
Trailblazers will open at 100 Borden Drive, Unit 12, beside the Yellowknife Liquor Shop in Stanton Plaza as a standalone store for cannabis.
Attendants at the store said Tuesday morning they are currently only accepting cash. There was a line-up at the store shortly after it opened at 11 a.m.
Cannabis products will no longer be sold out of the Liquor Shop.
Edward Eggenberger, owner of Trailblazers Cannabis Shop said that he’s enthusiastic to be moving into a new location at the plaza.
“Having a standalone store with more space is something we have been working toward for the last two years. We are looking forward to serving the public at the new location next door to the Liquor Shop,” he said.
The retailers are designated to sell cannabis by the Minister of Finance under the NWT Cannabis Products Act and both comply with the safety regulations and were inspected by the NTLCC.
“Since its legalization in 2018, the GNWT has envisioned private retailers playing a role in the safe and legal sale of cannabis in the NWT. Today, the GNWT welcomes ReLeaf NT and Trailblazers Cannabis Shop as private retailers of cannabis,” said Finance Minister Caroline Wawzonek.
The NTLCC provides information on its portal for potential retailers seeking to open new cannabis shops.
Requests for Proposal are are published on the GNWT’s Contract Event Opportunities website.
Requests have been issued for private cannabis retailers in such communities as Hay River, Fort Smith, Norman Wells, Inuvik, and Fort Simpson.