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Saskatchewan has selected 51 retailers to sell recreational marijuana when it becomes legal later this year.

There will be cannabis outlets in communities across the province from Assiniboia to Yorkton and as far north as La Loche.

Companies include big operators such as Canopy Growth Corporation to individual entrepreneurs.

The retailers include groups of federally licensed cannabis producers, numbered companies and at least one is a First Nations firm.

Some of the companies are from Saskatchewan but many are from out of province.

Gene Makowsky, minister of the Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority, says the new industry will bolster the economy.

“There was a lot of interest in the public request for proposal process, resulting in many new businesses that will invest in our province,” he said Friday in a release.

He said applicants were screened for financial and inventory tracking systems before they were selected in a lottery.

The selected retailers must now undergo criminal record checks.

As a condition of their permit, they must be ready to sell recreational marijuana within one year of its legalization.

The federal government is expected to legalize recreational marijuana for use by adults as early as this August.

Under Saskatchewan’s rules marijuana retail stores must be stand-alone operations, selling only cannabis and cannabis accessories.

They can’t sell alcohol and are subject to local municipal zoning bylaws.