Cannabis com­ing to West Prince

No fig­ures yet on what the de­layed open­ing will cost O’Leary cannabis store

Journal Pioneer - - FRONT PAGE - BY ERIC MCCARTHY

The P.E.I. Cannabis Cor­po­ra­tion is ex­press­ing con­fi­dence its O’Leary store will be ready to re­ceive cus­tomers by the end of Jan­uary.

The P.E.I. Cannabis Cor­po­ra­tion is ex­press­ing con­fi­dence its O’Leary store will be ready to re­ceive cus­tomers by the end of Jan­uary.

The store was ex­pected to be op­er­a­tional by Oct. 17, the same day that the other three cor­po­rate stores in P.E.I. opened for busi­ness, but Zach Cur­rie, the P.E.I. Cannabis Cor­po­ra­tion’s di­rec­tor of cannabis op­er­a­tions, said the Town of O’Leary ex­pe­ri­enced un­ex­pected com­pli­ca­tions with the build­ing it was pro­vid­ing, which ul­ti­mately re­sulted in the town hav­ing to re-is­sue its Re­quest for Pro­pos­als (RFP). He said there were also some pro­cure­ment de­lays.

“We con­tinue to work with our con­trac­tors and sub­con­trac­tors to com­plete the O’Leary re­tail store as soon as pos­si­ble so that we can im­prove our ser­vice de­liv­ery with our val­ued cus­tomers in the West Prince re­gion,” said Cur­rie.

The Cannabis Cor­po­ra­tion is in charge of the fin­ish­ing touches, now un­der­way.

O’Leary Mayor Eric Gavin con­firmed the town has been col­lect­ing rent on the build­ing since Oct. 17. He is not an­tic­i­pat­ing con­struc­tion costs to the town be­ing any higher than ini­tially pro­jected.

Dur­ing the con­struc­tion pe­riod, em­ploy­ees who were hired to staff the O’Leary store have re­mained em­ployed by the cor­po­ra­tion, help­ing out at the Sum­mer­side store.

Gavin said he is pleased the town is re­ceiv­ing rent on the prop­erty and that em­ploy­ees hired to staff the store con­tinue to be em­ployed dur­ing the wait. He said he is dis­ap­pointed by the loss in foot traf­fic the de­lay is caus­ing. “They might stop and get $20 worth of gas and buy a bag of chips and a bot­tle of pop,” he said of the miss­ing cus­tomers.

Cur­rie wasn’t able to pro­vide pro­jec­tions on how much sales rev­enue was lost due to the O’Leary store’s de­layed open­ing. He an­tic­i­pates the cor­po­ra­tion be­ing in po­si­tion by late next week to dis­close quar­terly sales num­bers for P.E.I. for the pe­riod cov­er­ing from Oct. 17, open­ing day, to Dec. 31.

The cor­po­ra­tion’s first three months in the cannabis trade will not likely al­ter the way its new store is set up.

“We’ve ex­pe­ri­enced a lot of suc­cess with the cur­rent model and will con­tinue to lever­age it,” Cur­rie ac­knowl­edged. “How­ever, we will con­tin­u­ously find ways to im­prove the ag­gre­gate op­er­a­tional frame­work mov­ing into 2019.”

ERIC MCCARTHY/JOUR­NAL PI­O­NEER

A con­struc­tion worker ar­rives at the P.E.I. Cannabis Cor­po­ra­tion’s O’Leary store. Con­trac­tors and sub­con­trac­tors are wrap­ping up their ef­forts in an­tic­i­pa­tion of a late Jan­uary open­ing of the store. The store will open more than three months later than the cor­po­ra­tion’s other three cor­po­rate stores in P.E.I.

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