Applications for retail cannabis permits in Saskatchewan have far exceeded the number available and interest in rural areas is strong, said the province April 20.
The government previously said it would allow 51 permits in 32 places that met population thresholds.
It received 1,502 submissions, or 30 times the available number of permits, under a request for proposal process that closed April 10.
While the highest numbers were in the larger cities — 177 submissions for seven permits in Saskatoon, for example — smaller places such as Assiniboia, Esterhazy, Canora and Maple Creek saw 21, 24, 21 and 20 submissions, respectively, for one permit each.
In the Rural Municipality of Corman Park, around Saskatoon, and RM of Edenwold, near Regina, 30 applications came in for a single permit in each RM.
Submissions that meet the requirements will be randomly selected for permits and the successful applicants are expected to be announced in the next few weeks, said minister responsible Gene Makowsky.
Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority is now accepting applications for wholesale permits and licensed producer registrations.
Wholesalers that obtain permits will buy cannabis from federally licensed producers registered to supply the Saskatchewan market. They can supply only retailers, not the public.