O’LEARY, P.E.I. - The P.E.I. Cannabis Corporation is confident its O’Leary store will be ready to receive customers by the end of January.
The store was expected to be operational by Oct. 17, the same day that the other three corporate stores in P.E.I. opened for business.
Zach Currie, the corporation’s director of cannabis operations, said the Town of O’Leary experienced unexpected complications with the base building it was providing, which ultimately resulted in the town having to re-issue its request for proposals (RFP). Currie said there were also some procurement delays.
“We continue to work with our contractors and subcontractors to complete the O’Leary retail store as soon as possible so that we can improve our service delivery with our valued customers in the West Prince region,” said Currie.
P.E.I. Cannabis is in charge of the renovations now underway.
Mayor Eric Gavin confirmed that the Town of O’Leary has been collecting rent on the building since Oct. 17. He is not anticipating construction costs to the town being any higher than initially projected.
During the construction period, employees who were hired to staff the O’Leary store have remained employed by the corporation, helping out at the Summerside store.
Gavin is pleased the town is receiving rent on the property and that employees hired to staff the store continue to be employed during the wait. He said he is disappointed by the loss in foot traffic the delay is causing.
“They might stop and get $20 worth of gas and buy a bag of chips and a bottle of pop,” he said.
Currie wasn’t able to provide projections on how much sales revenue was lost due to the O’Leary store’s delayed opening. He anticipates the corporation being in position by late next week to disclose quarterly sales numbers for P.E.I. for the period covering Oct. 17 to Dec. 31.
The corporation’s first three months in the cannabis trade will not likely alter the way its new store is set up.
“We’ve experienced a lot of success with the current model and will continue to leverage it,” Currie said. “However, we will continuously find ways to improve the aggregate operational framework moving into 2019.”