Cannabis retail licences awarded To Saskatchewan Indigenous-owned investment company

September 30, 2018 in News
Explorer: Fall 2018

This spring, the Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority (SLGA) announced the recipients of the retail cannabis selection lottery process. Indigenous-owned Synergy Five Investments received licences in three cities: Warman, North Battleford, and Yorkton.

Synergy Five Investments is a limited partnership with four partners with a successful track record. The limited partners include Athabasca Basin Development, Des Nedhe Development, Peter Ballantyne Group of Companies and Prince Albert First Nations Business Development, and shareholders include 13 different Saskatchewan First Nations in Saskatchewan. These four investment companies together own over 30 companies in various industries and are strongly positioned to leverage their experience and financial capacity to operate successful cannabis stores.

“We are very pleased with being awarded licences in three Saskatchewan cities,” says Sean Willy, CEO of Des Nedhe Development. “These licences give us the opportunity to participate in a brand-new industry that has great potential to benefit our Indigenous shareholders across Saskatchewan.”

“To our knowledge, a group of multiple First Nations-owned investment companies have not come together for a partnership quite like this before,” says Geoff Gay, CEO of Athabasca Basin Development. “We are four strong investment companies, and together, we are even stronger. We are excited about the opportunity this brings, not only in the cannabis industry, but also potentially to partner in other business areas in the future.”

Prior to receiving a licence, a team was assembled that included experts in retail and a cannabis consulting firm.

“From the strength of the team we have assembled, as well as our combined experience with over thirty different companies that we collectively own, we have gained a solid understanding of the industry and what’s involved in opening and operating a cannabis store,” says Ted De Jong, CEO of Prince Albert Development Corporation.

The stores will open under the name of 5Buds Cannabis. The Warman store is tentatively scheduled to be open in late 2018, with the North Battleford and Yorkton locations following early in 2019.

“There is still much more work to be done,” says Trevor Ives, CEO of Peter Ballantyne Group of Companies, “however, we have developed a foundation for a strong plan to provide a professional and trusted location for cannabis products. Our goal is to provide an extraordinary experience to Saskatchewan adult customers who are seeking high quality, regulated and legal cannabis products.”