Two First Nations groups are getting four of the 51 cannabis retail permits.

The Saskatchewan government announced the recipients Friday.

The Battlefords Agency Tribal Chiefs Investment LP and Greentec Holdings will operate a store in Nipawin. This investment group is a federally licensed cannabis producer.

Synergy Five Investments LP, which is an investment company, owned by five Saskatchewan First Nation organizations, will run three retail outlets in Yorkton, Warman and North Battleford.

Three other First Nations — the Lac La Ronge Indian Band, Onion Lake Cree Nation and Peter Ballantyne Cree Nation were being considered for permits, based on the population of their communities.

Liquor and Gaming Minister Gene Makowsky says those First Nations may still receive a licence.

“To my knowledge, they’re still considering it at this point. Those three First Nations were not part of this,” Makowsky said.

The successful applicants must now pass a criminal background check to continue to proceed through the permitting stages. Stores must be operating within 12 months of legalization.

(PHOTO: Gene Makowsky. Credit Dan Jones.)