Westleaf Inc., plans to open two Prairie Records stores in Saskatoon by April 20, in celebration of the day that was synonymous with cannabis legalization activities. Under a license agreement, the two stores are being built out under the Prairie Recordsbrand by the current license holders. Westleaf holds an option to purchase both locations, which it plans to exercise once the Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Agency (SLGA) approves the purchase and transfer. Prairie Records currently has a store operating in Warman, Saskatchewan, approximately 20 minutes from Saskatoon.
“Saskatoon and all of Saskatchewan, is proving to be one of the strongest cannabis retail markets in Canada as the sector continues to evolve and mature,” said Scott Hurd, President and CEO of Westleaf. “We have the opportunity to deal directly with licensed producers in stocking our shelves, we are able to sell online across the province through our e-commerce platform, and the ratio of stores to market size make Saskatoon an ideal location to operate cannabis retail.”
The two stores, both in premium locations, are planned to open in time to celebrate April 20th, the day associated with the push to legalize cannabis. “While Prairie Records creates a unique and totally different cannabis retail experience, we do want to recognize the day that activists used to bring attention to the injustice of the illegalization of cannabis for many years,” noted Adam Coates, Chief Commercial Officer at Westleaf. “We are planning some exciting events around the opening of these stores bringing together the community in celebration of local music and to highlight the relationship with between music and cannabis.”
- Premium Locations: The Saskatoon locations, Broadway (720 Broadway Avenue) and Stonebridge (Unit #170 3020 Preston Avenue), are both premium locations in high density, shopping-friendly neighbourhoods. The Broadway location is in one of the city’s densest commercial and entertainment districts and is also close to the University of Saskatchewan, the largest post-secondary institution in the province and one of the largest in Canada;
- Well Defined and Regulated Market: Saskatoon is the 17th largest metropolitan area in Canada with around 300,000 people in the metropolitan area. The SGLA has approved seven licenses for the market, with Westleaf holding two locations under option to purchase agreements. Westleaf believes the ratio of population to licenses will make Saskatoon one of the best markets to operate cannabis retail in Canada;
- Opening of Prairie Records a Celebration: The opening of the two stores in Saskatoon will celebrate the connection between cannabis and music intrinsic in the Prairie Records brand. Local bands and emerging artists will be highlighted and showcased as part of the opening celebrations;
- Truly Vertically Integrated Company – Westleaf is one of the few truly vertically integrated companies in the Canadian cannabis industry, with assets owned and under development across each vertical of the business, including cultivation, extraction, processing & manufacturing, distribution and wholly owned retail. Westleaf believes that being vertically integrated provides significant optionality and defensively positions the company to protect margins across the life cycle of the industry.