With the District of Sicamous still mulling over if and how they will allow cannabis sales in the district, a pair of prospective cannabis store proprietors are nearing the end of the government licensing process and awaiting the next step.
Mike Helfrick, a local man, says he is working with business partners from Calgary in hopes of setting up a cannabis retail store in Sicamous. Helfrick said his partners have already been through the process of getting a store up and running in Calgary.
“They know the process, they know how to make it really appealing and make it look good,” he said.
Their goal is to set up an operation on Main Street in Sicamous and are eying retail space next to Shuswap Ski and Board.
Helfrick said he and his partners are nearing the final stages of the exhaustive provincial application process.
As they plan to set up shop in a public area, Helfrick and his partners want a subtle storefront that doesn’t immediately scream cannabis store. He said they have settled on the name Sicamous Trading Co., a name which Helfrick says goes along with the low-key, curb-friendly look they are going for with the business.
Inside, Helfrick said Sicamous Trading Co. will mirror the upscale “Apple Store” style of interior design and service found in cannabis retailers in other communities.
Helfrick attended the first open house on cannabis retail at the district offices and said it seems to him that most of the public’s concerns with legalized cannabis retail are on regulating its consumption, not its sale.
Most of the issues and complaints were more to do with the use of it – more interested in controls on secondhand smoke etc. regulated by police and bylaws.
Overall, Helfrick said he doesn’t see much opposition to legalized cannabis sales and hopes what stigma there is fades with time.
If the store is approved by the province and the district, he said he hopes his entry into the market will be subtle enough that no one will mind, even if they don’t plan to use the service.
Also in attendance at the open house on cannabis retail was Loran Radchenko who has also nearly completed the licensing necessary to get his venture, High Mountain Cannabis Inc., approved by the province.
Radchenko said he thinks cannabis retail stores such as the one he is planning to set up, if approved by the province and local government, will be beneficial to the community, providing jobs and tax revenue.
“We love our community and we’re hoping we can provide some full time jobs with benefits,” he said.