Sara Murphy, owner of Harley's Hard Rock Saloon, Shirt Shack and the Yellowknife Tattoo parlor is in the market for a new building to house her businesses, and she's going to make sure there's room for a marijuana dispensary if laws eventually allow for it.
"I'm thinking about moving all the businesses to a new building," she said. "We don't really have the space for it. We're all pretty packed in there right now."
Murphy, 28, said she'd like to make some upgrades at her corner block businesses in downtown Yellowknife, established in 1994, but the concrete construction of the building itself makes it too difficult to consider adding a kitchen to Harley's Hard Rock Saloon, for example, or upgrading facilities in the tattoo parlour.
So she's looking for a new building and will make sure it's got room for what she hopes will eventually be Premium MJ, a head shop and marijuana dispensary.
The government of the Northwest Territories has yet to determine how marijuana will be distributed in the N.W.T. She knows the territorial government might not shape marijuana laws in a way that match her vision, but if it does, she aims to be ready.
In anycase, legal weed could very well boost the market for cannabis related merchandise, and Yellowknife has no dedicated shop for that kind of thing.
"Even if we can't distribute marijuana, we can still sell all the accessories that go with it," she said.
"There's a market for quality. Right now you can by from a couple of the gas stations but it's cheaply made and can break easily. People are looking for quality product."
Murphy says she plans to provide education out of her shop on responsible marijuana usage.
"What we would like to do is provide clients with proper education towards marijuana, as well as provide the schools with a teaching plan," she said. "And maybe — if financially feasible — to fund programs to better educate our youth especially."
She is now surveying people on-line to see what Yellowknifers think of the idea. Murphy also plans to hold an open house on her business plan at Harley's on November 10.