Article by Jake Courtepatte, Merritt Herald
A Williams Lake cannabis shop has its eyes set on Merritt as its first franchisee.
Williams Lake First Nation presented the opportunity for Unity Cannabis to spread its business to Merritt in front of city council on Tuesday, the first cannabis shop owned by an Indigenous reserve in Canada.
Willie Sellars, the Chief of Williams Lake First Nation, said that while there are 27 possible businesses waiting in the wings for approval under the Section 119 Act of cannabis control and licensing, it is currently only Unity and a business in the Lower Mainland that have been approved.
“We will source local talent,” said Sellars. “…we invest in our employees education to give people a better retail experience.”
The company has been eyeing the Adelphi Hotel as a possible location.
Sellars said they would also be renting a residential suite at the hotel if permitted to proceed, and if they are successful at placing the cannabis outlet at the Adelphi, that there is potential interest in developing the bar/restaurant space at the hotel.
The “historic, rustic” look of the Adelphi was a key factor in choosing a possible location.
“The historical component of these old stores, to embrace it and expand on it, I think is going to be something that we want to look at and continue to build on.”