After issuing a call for tenders last month, the Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) has announced that two retailers have been chosen to open private retail cannabis stores in Yellowknife.
“Since its legalization in 2018, the Government of the Northwest Territories has envisioned private retailers playing a role in the safe and legal sale of cannabis in the NWT,” said Caroline Wawzonek, Minister of Finance. “Today, the GNWT welcomes ReLeaf NT and Trailblazers Cannabis Shop as private retailers of cannabis.”
Releaf NT had successfully applied through the GNWT’s public procurement process and will operate at 5123 51st Street in Yellowknife.
“We’ve spent the last eighteen months working through the rigorous qualification and proposal process. We’re now putting the finishing touches on our new full-service, cutting edge downtown location,” says Luke Wood, President of ReLeaf NT. “We are looking forward to our new partnership with the NTLCC and serving Yellowknifers.”
Previously, cannabis had been available for purchase at the Yellowknife Liquor Shop, however, the shop owners and the GNWT agreed that liquor and cannabis sales should be separate, so Trailblazers Cannabis Shop will be moving to a standalone store next to the Liquor Shop at 100 Borden Drive, Unit 12, in Yellowknife.
“Having a standalone store with more space is something we have been working toward for the last two years,” said Edward Eggenberger, owner of Trailblazers Cannabis Shop. “We are looking forward to serving the public at the new location next door to the Liquor Shop.”
Retail sales in the province have been rising all year, and with these new retailers, they should continue to grow. The GNWT says they are committed to providing access to legal, reasonably priced cannabis, which is why they opened the market to private retailers back in June.
The GNWT has issued requests for proposals for private cannabis retailers in Hay River, Fort Smith, Norman Wells, Inuvik, and Fort Simpson, which have not yet been filled.