Alberta, which has a population roughly a third of Ontario’s, is on track to open 200 REC retailers by the end of the summer.
This week, Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis issued 20 new REC retail licenses, bringing the number of licensed REC stores in the province to a total of 156.
Globe and Mail
The rapid increase in stores has led to a cannabis hiring boom.
Globe and Mail
BC premier John Horgan said there was a “glitch in the system” causing the slow rollout of REC retail licenses. “I thought we had adequate time to get this up and running. Clearly the system is not moving at the pace the private sector needs,” Horgan said.
Grower Ryan Lee suggested the slow REC rollout might be deliberate on the part of the BC government, which recognizes how much of its provincial economy is tied up in the illicit cannabis industry. Lee noted, “Small town BC couldn’t exist without the Cannabis $ infusion. Everybody knows a grower, a trimmer, a broker.”
Victoria City staff oppose a pilot project for cannabis consumption-sites (lounges). City clerk Chris Coates recommended the city not adopt the project because such sites are under provincial review, and allowing them might lead to conflict with the province or with Ottawa.
A Victoria restaurant plans to eventually serve infused food and drinks. Trees: Island Grown is operated by Trees Cannabis Company, which is operating illegally while it waits for licensing, and Tress CEO Alex Robb is optimistic that within a year to eighteen months, BC will begin allowing cannabis in restaurants.