A prospective cannabis retailer in Yellowknife is budding with optimism after the territorial government green lighted the first phase of its application bid.

John Maduke, co-owner of ReLeaf NT poses in his shop on Dec. 12. The store successfully passed the first phase of the application towards being a cannabis vendor. (Blair McBride/NNSL photo)

The GNWT informed ReLeaf NT, a cannabis accessories shop on Dec. 11 that its Request for Qualifications (RFQ) submission was successful.

“We’re happy. We’re just waiting for the second phase,” as Luke Wood, President of ReLeaf NT told NNSL Media.

“I think sometime in the new year we’ll know (about the next step). They sent us an email saying, ‘Congratulations you’ve successfully passed the first phase and we’ll be in touch about the Request for Proposals’, but they didn’t give us a timeline,” Wood said.

He and co-owner John Maduke submitted the RFQ paperwork, including the 700-page application and financial records in July, as they told NNSL Media in August.

The news from the government saves the shop from facing tough choices, since after Wood and Maduke opened in the spring they hoped to eventually sell cannabis products by the end of the year.

“The alternative is we’d probably close down,” Wood said.

Until they can move on to the next step they’ll continue selling such accessories as pipes, fans, LED lights, nutrients and other items.

Earlier in the year, the government requested qualifications from prospective cannabis vendors in Inuvik, Norman Wells and Yellowknife. Only the submissions from applicants in the capital met the requirements, said Todd Sasaki, spokesperson for the GNWT’s Department of Finance.

At the moment, no new cannabis stores in the territory are scheduled to open, Sasaki said.

The only shop selling cannabis in the capital is the Yellowknife Liquor Shop on Borden Drive.

Blair McBride

Blair McBride covers the Legislative Assembly, business and education. Before coming to Yellowknife he worked as a journalist in British Columbia, Thailand and Ontario. He studied journalism at Western...

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