'It's been a bit of whirlwind': Sask. pharmacist-turned-pot seller excited on opening day
John Thomas was awarded 4 licenses to sell legal cannabis in Sask.
John Thomas won the lottery when it comes to pot in Saskatchewan. He was awarded four licenses to sell recreational cannabis in the province.
As a former pharmacist, Thomas already has a background in selling legal drugs. Now he co-owns Jimmy's Cannabis Shop along with his brother David.
They've already opened two stores so far — one in Martensville and and one in Battleford. Two more are slated to open in Estevan and Moosomin later this year.
Their Martensville location was one of the few cannabis shops in the Saskatoon area open on legalization day.
"It's been a bit of whirlwind," Thomas said on CBC Saskatchewan's The Morning Edition. "[There were] lot of things to finish up and get ready. October 17 has been looming on us for a real long time, so we're just happy that it's here."
Thomas said his career as a pharmacist made the transition to pot retailer fairly natural.
"I was pretty familiar with it," he said. "We were prepping for medical cannabis to eventually be given out at pharmacies, so we were kind of preparing for that all along."
He credits his prior business experience — he used to own a pharmacy — as one of the main factors that helped him be ready to open in time for legalization.
"It was really good to have [previously] started a business from scratch," Thomas said..
Thomas had originally hoped to have three out of four locations open on Oct. 17, but a tight timeline and some property issues meant that the launch of the Estevan and Moosomin locations has been delayed.
The brothers hope to have both stores open by the end of the year.
Despite some complications, Thomas said he is optimistic about his business's future in the brand new Canadian cannabis industry.
"It's exciting to be part of something so historic and something that Canada will be the global leader in."
- With files from CBC Saskatchewan's The Morning Edition