Canadian cannabis distributor Fire and Flower in growth mode

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Canadian cannabis distributor Fire and Flower in growth mode

Cannabis is displayed in this California store. Canadian cannabis retailer Fire and Flower is looking to Atlantic Canada to open up stores ahead of the anticipated legalisation of recreational pot by the federal government later this year. (MARCIO JOSE SANCHEZ/ AP) Cannabis retailer Fire and Flower is looking to Atlantic Canada to open up stores ahead of the anticipated legalisation of recreational pot by the federal government later this year. “We have contemplated Nova Scotia and we are looking at Newfoundland, Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick,” said Nathan Mison, the retailer’s vice-president of government and stakeholder relations, in an interview. Fire and Flower is already working on requests for proposals to set up retail cannabis stores in both Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador, and is in talks with entrepreneurs throughout the region. “What is potentially interesting would be joint ventures with other partners in the cannabis sector for value-added products . . . edibles and drinks,” said Mison. “We’re always interested in business opportunities that might come from that.” The exec would not divulge the number of stores Fire and Flower might set up in Atlantic Canada. In Alberta, which has almost twice the population of the four Atlantic provinces, the company has already applied for permission to open 37 stores. A similar level of interest in Atlantic Canada on a per-capita basis would mean 21 stores here, including eight in Nova Scotia, five in Newfoundland and Labrador, one on Prince Edward Island, and seven in New Brunswick. A typical Fire and Flower outlet would be about the size of a boutique, at 1,500 square feet, and employ between six and 15 people, said Mison. That would mean these 21 stores — should they be established in Atlantic Canada — could be expected to employ from 126 through to 315 workers. The company is already in hiring mode for its anticipated store openings out West. “We are about to start our first massive hiring because of our situation in Alberta, Saskatchewan and British Columbia,” said Mison. “It will be in the hundreds (of employees). “We will be launching our human resources tab on our website in the next couple of weeks,” he said. In the rush to break into the recreational marijuana sector, Fire and Flower is not alone in its bid to open up a chain of branded dispensaries. Earlier this month, struggling java giant Second Cup and pot retailer National Access Cannabis announced they will be applying to get dispensary licences to sell marijuana through 20 of the coffee chain’s stores in Western Canada. By operating in Second Cup outlets, National Access Cannabis would be able to quickly grow in the recreational marijuana sector. Fire and Flower, by comparison, expects to need three months to set up each of its stores, from the time the company looks at the real estate to its opening day. Under the current legislation, marijuana dispensaries set up throughout Atlantic Canada are often robbed because thieves know the outlets’ employees […]