Uncertainty for cannabis shops hoping to open in Lakeland after AGLC suspends licenses

Bonnyville residents will have to wait longer for a cannabis shop to open in town.

The AGLC announced Wednesday they are temporarily suspending accepting any new applications for retail shops due to the national cannabis shortage.

Kyle Sargent, owner of The Hive, which was slated to open its doors on Jan. 2 in Bonnyville, was close to finishing the application process and only needed an inspector to come give the green light, but will have to wait until the AGLC begins accepting applications again.

“It’s hugely disappointing,” said Sargant.

“If everything would’ve been kosher we would’ve been open Jan. 2 and selling retail cannabis, but now we’re stuck in a holding pattern, and we’re going to have to see if it’s financially viable to stay in this holding pattern,” he said.

Canna Cannabis was supposed to open next door to The Hive, but were farther behind in the application process.

Nick Kuzyk, Chief Strategy Officer & SVP Capital Markets, said it’s too soon to tell when the AGLC will start taking applications again.

The AGLC said in the press release that since legalization day Oct. 17 cannabis supply levels have been a concern.

“AGLC ordered enough product to support up to 250 retail stores in the first six months of legalization; however, as of November 17 we have only received approximately 20 per cent of what we had ordered. While some licensed producers have fulfilled their commitments, not all have. We continue to work with them to fill stock. Unfortunately, regardless of our efforts, we are seeing the supply of most products run out.

“For the first few weeks, AGLC has taken steps to secure additional product, contacting all producers with federal licences to sell cannabis, but with no success due to the national shortage.

The AGLC maintained they will keep some stock available online for “consumers in communities where there are not any retail stores to purchase online.”

There is no timeline for when the AGLC will accept licenses.