Saskatchewan gives cannabis rec sales and wholesale to private sector

Saskatchewan’s adult-use marijuana will be sold in private brick-and-mortar stores and online, the government announced, giving entrepreneurs in the cannabis space more opportunities when sales begin this summer.

Saskatchewan is the last Canadian province to announce plans for marijuana sales.

However, major decisions on home cultivation, taxation, a minimum age for cannabis consumption and public-use regulations are still up in the air.

Saskatchewan, with a population of about 1.1 million people, will issue about 60 retail permits to private operators in the first 12-18 months – with potentially more to come depending on demand.

Both wholesale and retail of cannabis will be conducted by the private sector and regulated by the Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority, according to a government news release.

Municipalities can opt out of having a retail cannabis store in their community.

Saskatchewan’s retail plan is in stark contrast to Ontario, which plans to open 40 government-run stores for its 14.1 million people in the first year.

What you need to know:

  • Screening for potential retail operators will involve demonstrated financial capacity and an ability to track and report inventory.
  • Stores will be allowed to sell only marijuana, cannabis accessories and ancillary items — meaning co-location with alcohol will not be allowed.
  • Neighboring Manitoba and Alberta also plan to hand marijuana sales to the private sector.
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