City’s first legal pot shop set to open its doors Saturday
Young entrepreneurs excited to begin after lengthy permit and zoning process
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.
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.