Cannabis may be available at a Calgary Co-op store, with more Calgary outlets planned, but at Central Alberta Co-op, selling marijuana is still up in the air.
“As of now, we have no decision to enter into the market,” said Gerald Hiebert, CEO of Central Alberta Co-op, on Friday.
About a week ago, Central Alberta Co-op started an online survey to hear from members.
“It’s really to understand whether or not there’s even an appetite, or would they view us poorly, if we were to enter the market.
“We’re really looking for member direction on this,” said Hiebert.
Central Alberta Co-op has stores in 10 communities, including three grocery stores in Red Deer, and about 70,000 members in total.
The survey runs until Nov. 2.
“We have a board planning session in November, and it’s up to the board of directors as to the direction that they would like to take. I can’t speak to how soon they would make a decision,” Hiebert said.
Elsewhere on the marijuana front, Fire & Flower has received its provincial licence to open a cannabis retail outlet in Stettler.
But that doesn’t mean the Edmonton-based company is ready to open its doors in the Stettler Mall, at 6610 50 Ave.
Retailers require approvals from both the municipality and Alberta, Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis. There’s also the logistics of getting product to sell, and hiring and training staff.
Fire & Flower has opened five stores so far in Alberta, according to its website, and plans to open a store in Red Deer at 105-3119 49 Ave., off 32 Street.
Ten cannabis retail stores around Red Deer have been approved by the city’s development officer and there’s room for an estimated 37 outlets.