CLN caught up with Carol Gwilt, co-owner of WEEDS, to talk about the company’s recent agreement with Quizam and how it positions WEEDS to rapidly grow both nationally AND globally.
Since Quizam is a publicly traded company on the CNSX, the new agreement means that WEEDS is essentially going public as well, and Carol talked about how she and Don Briere, the CEO and founder of WEEDS, found a way to work around their criminal pasts for cannabis-related convictions to make that happen in the first place.
She also talks about WEEDS plans to expand into Jamaica and the licensing process for WEEDS’ four Vancouver stores, and how post-legalization, they now not only need to get a municipal license, they need to worry about getting a provincial license, too, which comes with a whole host of new fees- which will add up to over $150,000 if all four stores get licensed!
CLN: Can you tell me about WEEDS’ recent memorandum of agreement with Quizam?
Carol Gwilt: A heavy-duty investor came along and coincidentally, he’s known Don since they were teenagers and it was a complete surprise that they ran into each other! Meeting again was a lot of fun, and while Quizam is a media company right now, they’re going to change their track and get into cannabis and we’re starting a new company together called “Quantum 1 Cannabis”.
For Don Briere and I to get licensed provincially, in our names, is not doable right now because we’re outlaws so we needed a lily-white company that doesn’t have any black market ties and they’re helping us with the licensing.
Yes, we’re licensing the name to them, but Don and I are retaining ownership.
Does that mean, in a sense, that WEEDS is also going public as well then?
Yes, Quizam is doing business with us and you can buy shares of Quizam on the CSE under CNSX: QQ.
Is this the first Canadian dispensary chain to pull off getting listed on the CNSX?
I think so. It’s really cool and we’re kind of proud of that, especially since we’re not selling out to a freaking LP!
You and Don have always been pushing it forward. It kind of makes sense it’d be you guys.
We’re going to be opening in Jamaica very soon. We’re also looking at a pilot project in England. It’s crazy. Don is a visionary and if he wants something, he just goes for it and we put together a team and we do it.
It’s really cool.
Back in the day, before legalization, WEEDS applied for a license from the city right?
Were any of the WEEDS locations able to get a license?
No. All 4 of our Vancouver stores are unlicensed, but we are part of that test case going through BC Supreme Court.
The judge has reserved his decision while he figures it all out, but in the meantime, we’re able to stay open because they’ve promised not to raid us until then.
Do you have any idea of the timeline for the judge’s decision?
No, it could be tomorrow or it could be another 8 months or more.
With legalization, does that mean you not only have to get a municipal license, you have to get a provincial license as well?
Exactly. That’s where the new company comes in to help us with that.
I heard to get a municipal license, the city of Vancouver was charging people $30k. Is the price for a provincial license the same?
The provincial application fee is $7500 and then there’s a renewal fee every year after that and you have to pay it for every store you want to open.
So basically, by applying for your 4 stores in Vancouver, you’re paying another $30,000 to the province, too?
It would be the same. $30K for 4 stores to get the provincial license, and then another $30K per store for a municipal license… which adds up to $150,000 total for the 4 stores!
Does WEEDS have other locations across the country?
We just have 4 in Vancouver, one in Sechelt, and one in Edson right now, which is in Alberta.
To see WEEDS’ memorandum of understanding with Quizam, click here