The shortage of supply of cannabis has halted jobs and profits in the retail industry with Alberta Gaming and Liquor commission's Moratorium on store licenses.
Beverly Gilbert, President of Micro Gold Retail Cannabis in Okotoks, says although they suspected a problem, the impact on their new business has been significant.
"It was devastating. We are a family business, we've put in all our own personal money into this from our RRSP. It's not only that, but we had 13 staff members, all between the ages of 18 and 20 all hired and ready to go. One of the hardest things was to have to go back and tell all these young people who were so excited about getting their first job, that there was no job," she said.
Gilbert says the moratorium has left many questioning whether or not they can continue with retail outlets.
"We did have to go through some re-zoning and that was touch and go for a while, but we had great support from town council. The big bump in the road is the security checks. We went through the security checks fairly easily. I'm now hearing it can take up to four months. What this really does, is it leaves people who were not as far along as us really questioning as to whether or not they can proceed," she said.
Gilbert was attending her final meeting with the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission before opening the store in Okotoks when she received the email that no further licenses would be issued.
She says she and her family intend to hang in there and wait for a lift on the moratorium, but this is not a feasible choice for all retailers who have spent all of their money, and can't obtain lending from banks.
Gilbert adds the Town of Okotoks was very helpful in assisting the establishment with opening an accessory retail outlet in the interim until the moratorium is lifted.
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