Westleaf plans cannabis store in Banff

Retail location could be open by third quarter using the Prairie Records concept

Mario ToneguzziCannabis company Westleaf Inc. says it has received development permit approval from the Town of Banff for a flagship retail location on Caribou Street just off famed Banff Avenue.

The Calgary-based company said it will be developed as a flagship in the Prairie Records brand of cannabis stores. The store will be in the basement of the historic King Edward Hotel, which was built in 1904 and is the second oldest hotel in Banff.

Westleaf said it is on track to open about 20 locations in Alberta and Saskatchewan by the end of third quarter, subject to regulatory approvals.

Prairie Records is a retail concept that marries cannabis with music. Product information is presented on album covers and categorized and aligned with different types of music.

“Premium retail locations are the cornerstone of our vertically integrated strategy and which we believe uniquely differentiates Westleaf by providing access to wholly owned distribution channels,” said Scott Hurd, Westleaf’s president and CEO, in a news release.

“We have built our Prairie Records retail brand to be a superior retail experience and have focused on locations with high foot traffic in urban centres and resort destinations. There are very few locations in Canada that tick off as many boxes as the Banff location does. If you have ever been to the intersection of Banff Avenue and Caribou Street on a summer weekend, you will know exactly what we are talking about.”

Westleaf said Banff Prairie Records is being developed with an opening date in the third quarter of this year, pending completion of conditions and release of the development permit from the municipal planning commission in Banff, as well as the lifting or loosening of the moratorium on new cannabis retail licences from the Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis that has been imposed due to supply constraints.

“The space is also exceptionally unique,” said  Adam Coates, chief commercial officer at Westleaf. “We have secured a former nightclub, which includes approximately 5,000 square feet of development. This will give us plenty of room to present an unprecedented retail experience, rooted in an immersive musically themed approach, complete with listening booths, to create an absorbing way to learn about the products.

“Through this concept, the consumer is presented with choices they can immediately identify with. For example, you can steer towards the Just Dance section, which will give you an idea of the type of cannabis product you would want for a night on the town, or you can turn towards the Dreams section, if perhaps you are looking for a relaxing evening at home. Using music and musical nomenclature to align the customer to what they are looking for has created a brand proposition for Prairie Records that will stand out from all other retailers and help us create a unique tie with the consumer.”

Mario Toneguzzi is a Troy Media business reporter based in Calgary. He writes for Calgary’s Business.


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