Fire & Flower will open up a recreational marijuana store in Red Deer at 3121-49th Avenue in early May. Photo by Mamta Lulla/Advocate staff

Third pot store to open in May in Red Deer

Red Deerians will soon have a third pot store to patronize.

Fire & Flower is set to open a recreational marijuana outlet at 3121 49th Ave. in early May, Nathan Mison, vice-president of government and stakeholder relations at the company, confirmed Wednesday.

Fire & Flower has a store in Stettler, along with other locations in Alberta. Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis granted new licences recently, and the company received the green light for its Red Deer location.

Media reports confirm AGLC is granting 26 retail licences in this round. The agency denied an interview request, but confirmed four new retail licences were added on the agency website Wednesday.

The agency had 85 retail cannabis providers in Alberta listed on the website. That number was 75 around January.

In November, the AGLC put on a temporary hold and stopped granting licences due to cannabis shortages in the province. In January, the agency granted 10 licences because it saw a “modest improvement in the province’s cannabis inventory since November.”

Mison said supply has gone up in the past five weeks, and it has been steady for the company’s Stettler location.

“We’re excited to see more licensed producers come on board and more product becoming available,” Mison said.

The AGLC website listed 23 licensed producers on its website Wednesday. In January, that number stood at 15.

Mison said based on what the company saw in the U.S., prior to legalization in Canada, it knew the shortage to the cannabis industry in Canada was temporary.

He expects supply to be looking up from here on out.

“This will be the first year where outdoor grow (is expected), and we will see the first outdoor harvest potentially in September, and that’s a significant amount of product that will be harvested and that will be new,” he explained, adding so far, cultivation has been done in greenhouses or similar structured facilities.

He confirmed there will be outdoor cultivation across the nation, including in Alberta.

Although Mison did not provide opening dates for Fire & Flower’s Red Deer location, he said the company has a general manager in place.

About 20 or more people will be trained and hired at the Red Deer location, just like other locations within the company.

As of Wednesday, the Fire & Flower website stated it has recreational cannabis stores in Canmore, Hinton, Fort Saskatchewan, St. Albert and Sherwood Park.

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