City’s first le­gal pot shop set to open its doors Sat­ur­day

Young en­trepreneurs ex­cited to be­gin af­ter lengthy per­mit and zon­ing process

Regina Leader-Post - - REGINA LEADER-POST - JEN­NIFER ACK­ER­MAN jack­er­man@post­media.com

Come 11 a.m. Sat­ur­day, Regina res­i­dents will no longer have to make the trek to Eden­wold to buy le­gal cannabis.

The Cannabis Co. YQR is owned by long­time res­i­dent Natasha Wald­bauer and was demo’d and reno’d by her hus­band, Nathan.

Lo­cated on the edge of Regina’s Ware­house Dis­trict, it is the first le­gal cannabis re­tailer to open within city lim­its.

“We’re just re­ally ex­cited to see peo­ple come out and check out our shop,” Nathan said dur­ing an in­ter­view Fri­day as they put the fi­nal touches on the shop.

Lo­cated in what used to be Re­play Games, the space has been to­tally trans­formed.

Three walls bear pale laven­der paint, and one is wall­pa­pered in black and white or­na­men­tal vec­tor art. The open ceil­ing is painted black. Funky lights and wood ac­cents give the space a mod­ern look with a bit of a rus­tic feel.

As one walks through the door, their larger-than-life logo adorns the wall to the right and mer­chan­dise, in­clud­ing hats, T-shirts, tank tops and bun­ny­hugs, are dis­played on the left.

“We didn’t want to por­tray the typ­i­cal look — the greens, the cannabis leaves,” said Natasha. “We wanted a place that felt com­fort­able.”

Af­ter win­ning the re­tail per­mit lot­tery held on May 24, Natasha said it was a bit of a wait­ing game as the City of Regina worked to ap­prove the proper zon­ing areas. The tim­ing was such that they couldn’t sub­mit a devel­op­ment per­mit to the city un­til af­ter Aug. 27.

“That lost us a lit­tle bit of time for be­ing able to pre­pare,” she said.

Since get­ting their per­mit, they’ve been work­ing round the clock to ready the shop for cus­tomers.

“The phys­i­cal as­pects of the shop has been my job for the last cou­ple months. Ev­ery­thing from the demo to the full reno,” said Na- than. “It’s been a re­ally good time ac­tu­ally.”

Be­sides prod­uct, ev­ery­thing has been lo­cally sourced, from logo de­sign — which was done by Natasha’s brother’s com­pany Sharp Signs & De­signs — to the elec­tri­cians and all the ma­te­ri­als used to bring their vi­sion to life.

“I just feel be­ing lo­cal, we’re go­ing to have more of a per­sonal ex­pe­ri­ence,” she said. “I was raised in a fam­ily busi­ness and that’s how we’re want­ing to run this as well.”

Natasha said they have a lot of great friends and fam­ily who have helped, and con­tinue to help, get the shop ready for its open­ing and early days.

“It’s just like one big fam­ily,” she said, adding the next step to be­com­ing more lo­cal will hope­fully be get­ting their hands on some lo­cally-grown prod­uct.

Natasha said they had hoped to open on Oct. 17, pot le­gal­iza­tion day, but wait­ing for city ap­proval of zon­ing by­laws and sup­ply is­sues re­sulted in de­lays.

“Sup­ply has def­i­nitely been a chal­lenge,” said Natasha.

Saskatchewan re­tail­ers can buy di­rectly from a li­censed pro­ducer or whole­saler. She said try­ing to se­cure sup­ply has been dif­fi­cult be­cause li­censed pro­duc­ers are fo­cused on sup­ply­ing gov­ern­ments in other provinces.

“We were lucky enough to be able to se­cure some sup­ply, and we didn’t want to keep Regina wait­ing any­more,” she said.

Two large TV screens mounted on the wall will be used as menu boards. Natasha said they will also have sheets of pa­per with items and prices listed for cus­tomers to pe­ruse.

De­pend­ing on strain and pack­age

We didn’t want to por­tray the typ­i­cal look — the greens, the cannabis leaves. We wanted a place that felt com­fort­able.

size, the store cur­rently has prod­uct priced as low as $31.08 plus tax for 3.5 grams or about $8.88 per gram, ac­cord­ing to Natasha.

For now, the shop does not have sam­ples to see or smell, but will have staff on hand to walk cus­tomers through their op­tions and help pick the strain of cannabis that’s right for them.

“With lim­ited sup­ply, we thought it was bet­ter to keep the sup­ply for our con­sumers than to waste it by putting it in the smell jars and then hav­ing to dis­card it,” said Natasha.

About 15 to 20 cus­tomers will be al­lowed in the shop at a time. Two pieces of ID, in­clud­ing one gov­ern­ment-is­sued photo ID, will be re­quired to get in the door and again at the time of pur­chase.

The store is lo­cated at 1306 Broad Street and will be open Tues­day to Sat­ur­day from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

TROY FLEECE

Natasha Wald­bauer and her hus­band, Nathan, are open­ing Regina’s first le­gal pot shop on Sat­ur­day. The Cannabis Co. YQR is lo­cated in Broad Street’s 1300 block.

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