One of the men behind Prince Albert’s second recreational cannabis store hopes to have his location open by early November. Shaun Dunphy won one of the two permits to open a retail cannabis location in the City earlier this year. Jim Southam won the other permit.
Like Southam, Dunphy won’t be ready to go today, the first day recreational cannabis will be legal in Canada. But he hopes the day to open his doors isn’t that far away.
“Yes, legalization is tomorrow,” he said when reached by phone Tuesday, “but we want to make sure that we have one, the product, and two, the supply to keep customers happy. We want to charge fair prices and we want to have more than enough inventory so people and come and browse. The last thing we want to happen is to overcharge for product or to run out. I think early November is a great timeframe.
“Hopefully, the supply nationwide will level out by that point and we’ll be able to offer more variety.”
Dunphy will open his store across from the Ramada hotel and KFC on Second Ave. West, in a storefront formerly occupied by a furniture store. He said the tight timelines have proved challenging, but praised city staff for helping him open the doors within a reasonable timeline.
“The timeframes were pretty tight from the get-go when our names were drawn back in June. That’s really only about a four-month timeframe to have this store open,” he said.
“That in itself is difficult. The city has been great to work with. They’ve been really working hard with us to make sure we can open. There are still a few things left to do, but all in all, it’s a success that we’re looking at early November. I think normally this process would take a lot longer if we didn’t have the help from the city and some of the people we’re working with in Prince Albert.”
Dunphy said he’s very familiar with Prince Albert, and would often stop in while travelling north to the lakes. He said he enjoys the city and finds the cannabis industry interesting.
“Finding a location was tricky,” he said. “I do know Prince Albert quite well, so we were really focused on a few key areas to look for places. Luckily, we found this building.”
With Dunphy looking to open in early November and Southam hoping to open his doors sometime later that same month, there are no retail cannabis stores in P.A. open in time for legalization. But Dunphy doesn’t think the slightly delayed opening will have too much of an impact on long-term plans for his business.
“It’s still very early,” he said.
“We look at this as a long-term plan to be established in Prince Albert for many, many years to come. As long as we start off right and give customers what they want, I think a year from now, or five, or ten, opening a few weeks after legalization won’t be as big of an issue.”
That long-term vision, Dunphy said, comes with a plan to have good service, good product and good pricing and education to help consumers make decisions.
“We’re just very excited to be in Prince Albert. It’s a great city, and I think that we’re going to have a great opportunity. We really just want to have a strong customer base and give them the best service and pricing that we can.”