ReLeaf NT is the first company to announce it has reached the second stage of the NWT government's licensing process for private cannabis sales in Yellowknife.
It’s been almost six months since people hoping to open private dispensaries in the city first applied for pre-screening. The territorial government recently said applicants would discover whether they were successful by mid-December.
On Thursday, ReLeaf NT's John Maduke told Cabin Radio: "We did receive some good news yesterday. Our request for qualifications was accepted and we have moved on to the second stage of the application process."
Maduke does not expect any further developments before the new year.
The NWT's Department of Finance said all three applicants met "all of the necessary requirements" in the request for qualifications and would be invited to submit a proposal. The request for proposals, which Finance said is "the final step" in the process, is expected to be published at the end of January.
"Submissions received through this step will be ranked to determine which proponents will become authorized cannabis retailers in Yellowknife," said spokesperson Todd Sasaki in an email, noting they have not yet determined how many retailers will be authorized.
Right now, cannabis is only sold in the NWT at some government-controlled liquor stores and online through the liquor and cannabis commission’s website.
Luke Wood, president of ReLeaf NT, told NNSL (paywall) – which first reported the development – that his business would probably have closed had it not successfully cleared the initial request for qualifications.
"We're happy. We're just waiting for the second phase," Wood told the newspaper.
Ollie Williams contributed reporting.