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Rebagliati to bring medical marijuana franchise to Whistler

Ross’s Gold to open here and in other locations in 2013
MEDICINE MAN Whistler's Ross Rebliati continues to cash in on his gold medal success in 1998 with the announcement of a medical marijuana franchise to start operating this year. File photo

Olympic gold medal-winning snowboarder Ross Rebagliati is to open a series of medical marijuana stores, with its flagship shop to be located in Whistler.

The company, to be called Ross’s Gold, expects to open its Whistler location in the spring of 2013, according to a press release on the website

Once the federal government privatizes the medical marijuana industry this year the project can go ahead, “building on the brand of Ross Rebagliati”, the release said.

“The company intends to build traction and revenues through the sale of legal retail items before other players enter the marketplace,” it continues. “This will give the company a competitive advantage while the application processes are vetted out by the government. Ultimately, the company intends to successfully apply to become a medical marijuana producer and build a franchise model to license stores throughout Canada.”

Expansion along a corporate model is definitely a plan for the company.

“When and if marijuana is decriminalized in Canada like it has been in the American states of Washington and Colorado, the opportunity would also exist for the company to become a government licensed supplier to the general public.”

The release goes on to state that users of medical marijuana in Canada have grown from 500 a decade ago, to over 21,000. Health Canada believes this could grow to 300,000 in the next decade, creating an industry worth $5 billion.

Patrick Smyth of Ocean Eclipse Venture Capital and Kenneth Lelek of World Fund Corp. are assisting Rebagliati in the creation of the company.

Rebagliati was almost stripped of the men’s snowboarding gold medal at the Nagano, Japan, Olympics in 1998 after a minute trace of marijuana turned up in a drug test.

Rebagliati was not available for an interview on Wednesday.

For more, read Pique Newsmagazine next Thursday or

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