Fredericton’s King Pakal Closes As Owner Goes Into The Cannabis Business

King Pakal owner Hugo León de Gante. Image: Submitted

FREDERICTON – King Pakal, a Mexican takeout located in The Ville Cooperative in Marysville, will serve customers for the last time on Saturday.

“We’re closing because I’m going into the cannabis business now,” says owner Hugo León de Gante. “Saturday will be our last day. We’re open all day, 11-to-7 pm.”

De Gante says he’s closing King Pakal so he can focus on his new business, Lady Jane Cannabis Ltd., which will grow organic cannabis and extract CBD, the medicinal part of the plant.

“The problem that I have now is I cannot multiply myself. I cannot be running the kitchen and running [the cannabis business]. So I have to focus on the business that will provide me better profit at this point,” he said.

De Gante says one of the reasons for the move is he wants to be part of an industry that’s been growing since recreational cannabis became legal last October.

“Because now there’s no support for restaurants really from banks or anybody…It’s already a proven risky industry. Cannabis is a new industry, so people are just excited, there’s a hype and everybody’s putting money into that,” he said.

But he also believes in the benefits of cannabis, so that’s another reason for entering the relatively new sector.

“It’s my other passion outside of food. The thing I love more than food is cannabis. We believe in the plant. We believe in the benefits it can bring,” he said. “We’re really focusing on organic and medicinal cannabis, and growing without pesticides, no chemicals…that’s our advantage to many other big licensed producers that are using chemicals and hydroponic ways of growing.”

He’s also planning to grow hemp and enter the edibles market after the final regulations come out. He’s discussing the possibility of a CBD-infused beverage with a kombucha producer.

Although King Pakal is closing, De Gante says he’s in talks with investors who want to relaunch the restaurant as a Mexican tapas bar.

“Something more with beer, more like a beach bar kind of thing,” he said. “But nothing is for sure. I have still these meetings…we will put things in perspective to see if it will work for everybody.”

In the meantime, he says this is the last call for the restaurant.

“These are our last three days. So, if anybody wants to try and they want to come, we’ll be here until Saturday.”