The Yukon government has issued a request for proposals looking for a location for the territory’s first cannabis retail store.
The request for proposals, issued last week, is looking for a building the territorial government can lease or buy with at least 415 square metres of storefront, office and warehouse space.
The RFP requires that the proposed store be in the Marwell neighbourhood. Whitehorse City Council is in the process of considering a zoning change that would limit retail locations that sell cannabis to only Marwell, but council hasn’t officially signed off on that yet.
The final council vote is expected to happen Feb. 26, the day before the territorial government’s RFP closes.
Yukon Liquor Corporation spokesperson Patch Groenewegen said the government is working within the area as outlined by the city because time is of the essence.
The federal government is expected to legalize recreational cannabis use this summer. The Yukon space needs to be completely ready on or before May 29, according to the RFP.
Groenewegen said the size of the store listed in the tender is the minimum size the government will be looking for.
The government is looking to buy the location or sign a three-year lease, the document says. The space needs to be open to the public seven days a week from 7:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Government officials need to have access 24-7.
The successful location will be picked based on a variety of criteria including how close it is to the Yukon Liquor Corporation offices and transit routes.
John Streicker, the minister responsible for the liquor corporation, has previously talked about a shortlist of potential locations in the area.
Groenewegen said the government only “scanned the market to see what was available” when city officials first mentioned the idea of having the store in Marwell.
“It was essentially just to make sure that it is a possibility in Marwell and we encourage all parties to make sure that they submit in the tender process.”
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