A retail cannabis corporation, High Tide, has acquired five retail cannabis locations in Regina. The locations include Prince of Wales Drive, Victoria Avenue, Eastgate Drive and Albert Street.
All five locations are expected to be operational by the end of 2021.
The company's founder, president and CEO, Raj Grover, says the stores will run under the name Canna Cabana.
Grover also says acquiring stores in Regina came with some challenges but was worth the investment.
"Saskatchewan has implemented some zoning restrictions which includes schools, parks, colleges, community centers, distance to other cannabis stores and limited real estate availability which makes it difficult for operators like ourselves to find real estate in Saskatchewan," he said.
According to Grover, Saskatchewan has proved to be a good place for the cannabis business.
"Saskatchewan also offers a high margin opportunity in cannabis which we don't get to see in Alberta and we don't experience the same in Ontario and Manitoba," he said. "So we've been very keen to establish a stronger presence in Saskatchewan and expand upon that presence."
By the year's end, High Tide will be operating nine stores in Saskatchewan.
Jason Childs, associate professor of economics at the University of Regina, says that the rising trend of cannabis stores in the city won't do much to affect the local economy, but will displace the illicit market.
"This will definitely move consumers from the illicit market to the legal market by improving convenience and ease of access," he said. "We are going to see more legal jobs displacing illicit job so the total amount of economic activity won't change much."
What will change, however, is the reported GDP. This is because there will be an actual measurement of the type of economic activity that is taking place.
Childs says that there might be small tax revenue implications because organizations like High Tide will be paying GST, PST and the cannabis tax.
There are currently 14 cannabis stores in Regina but High Tide is hoping that their one-stop cannabis shop reputation will set them apart from the pack.