The Great Cannabis Saga continues to unfold in Saskatchewan with the winners of the licence lottery having been announced. Over 1500 applications were submitted for 51 retail licences. About one third of the 51 will belong to 5 companies. The lottery winners are an interesting mix ranging from a university student who received one to an Ontario company that landed five. Of Regina’s 6 licenses, one went to a man and another to a woman, both with the same last names and the same lawyer. Applicants have already had to prove they have the financial assets available and the ability to track cannabis products. I’m not sure what that means exactly. The government says the 51 chosen retailers will now have to undergo a character test and apparently there are multiple factors to consider whether someone is of good character. Scanning the list of lottery “winners” I see a broad range of people with various backgrounds and, as mentioned, not all from this province. KPMG oversaw the lottery and there is a “fairness report” on the process due out this week. As with anything like this there will always be suspicions of insider favouritism or some kind of shadiness at worst and lack of transparency at best. Later this summer marijuana should be legal, the retail stores will open, life will go on and this will all be yesterday’s news.
That’s Coffeetalk. I’m Vic Dubois.