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Fair is fair in Saskatchewan cannabis retail lotto

It seems like unlikely odds, considering the Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority announced a...

It seems like unlikely odds, considering the Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority announced all businesses awarded a cannabis retail permit were to be selected at random.

Kelly Macysmic, ICR Commercial, Saskatoon.

Kelly Macysmic, ICR Commercial, Saskatoon.

But Prairie Sky Cannabis, a Regina-based company, won licences in Battleford, Estevan, Martensville and Moosimin. It might seem highly unlikely they’d be drawn four times, but they did submit for 28 jurisdictions, thus sweetening that chance.

A University of Regina statistics professor told the Leader-Post newspaper he’s calculated the odds of one company winning permits in four locations as a one-in-1,319,760 chance.

The lottery was legitimized as SLGA involved KPMG to help draw candidates. Qualified applicants were assigned specific numbers and pulled in individual draws by community at random, according to SLGA.

Tweed Grasslands out of Yorkton was the biggest winner with five licences each in Fort Qu’Appelle, Humboldt, Meadow Lake, Melville and the RM of Corman Park.

In their case, they had applied to all of the 32 communities eligible for permits.

There were only a few other companies awarded multiple permits.

One step closer

With legalization now targeted for this fall, businesses that did submit applications are confident things are on track. I’ve speculated on the commercial real estate implications of this previously.

With the federal bill allowing the retail sale of marijuana, there will still be provincial and municipal regulations to adhere to as well.

Many communities, like Saskatoon, have already began to solidify their rules including a $20,000 licensing fee. The City of Saskatoon is defending that value by estimating the cost of implementing and overseeing the new licensing.

With approval from the Senate just a few days ago, and royal assent in the offing to make Bill C-45 official, retailers are now anticipating being able to sell marijuana legally this fall. Half of the provinces are licensing private retailers, which is the case for Saskatchewan; the other half will be government run.

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