Recreational cannabis users said they have been waiting for a store to open up in Red Deer and Greentown was the first in November. (File photo by Advocate staff)

Second pot store coming to Red Deer

Green Town experiences cannabis shortages

Red Deer will soon be getting a second pot store.

The Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis Commission has given the approval stamp to Clarity Cannabis at 5511 50th Ave.

The agency announced it’s granting 10 licences, including Clarity in Red Deer, and other permits in Calgary, Edmonton, Spruce Grove, Nisku, Grimshaw and Strathmore.

In November, AGLC put on a temporary hold and stopped granting licences due to cannabis shortages in the province. Red Deer’s Green Town, first recreational cannabis store in the city, is well aware of these supply shortages.

The store is open about three and a half days a week. Rob Katzman, father of owner Sam, said he is worried about disappointing customers.

Katzman said supply “particularly in the last month, has been worst it’s ever been.”

“I know how hard the AGLC are trying… and they’re trying to be as fair as they can be to everyone,” said Katzman.

“They’re really trying to increase supply and they’re trying to bring in more licensed producers.

“We’re getting approximately 30 to 40 per cent of what we’re ordering, so that’s my concern as a retailer.”

He said he has faith in AGLC’s decisions and process.

“They must know something that I don’t know, because it’s really been short supply for the last three to four weeks… it’s been much worse than what it was about a month or two months ago.”

Another Central Alberta recreational cannabis retailer that has stores across the province has reduced its store hours.

Nathan Mison, vice-president of government and stakeholder relations at Fire & Flower, said the company has been lucky enough to never have its doors close at any of its locations. However, the company did make a decision to reduce store hours by one hour at nights at all its locations, including the one in Stettler.

“When AGLC put the supply hold on, we made that change to all our stores,” said Mison.

“We definitely have not seen the ability to purchase all of the items we would like, at the quantities we would like,” he said, speaking of different cannabis strains.

Mison explained supply has been consistent for about a month at Fire & Flower’s Stettler location. He added stock available for purchase has been “trending up or at least maintaining.”

AGLC’s 10 new licences brings the total up to 75 in the province. Going forward, AGLC won’t be granting additional licences until cannabis supply warrants.

“The hold is back in place, and we’re not accepting any new applications,” said Chara Goodings, senior communications officer with AGLC.

The 10 licences were granted because AGLC saw a “modest improvement in the province’s cannabis inventory since November,” when the hold came into affect, Goodings said.

Since November, there has been a 10 per cent increase in AGLC’s cannabis supply, Goodings confirmed.

AGLC is also in talks with 12 licensed producers. So far, the agency has contracts with 15 producers.

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More than 50 lined up outside Red Deer’s first recreational cannabis store Green Town when it opened in November. File photo by Advocate staff

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