At the beginning of May, there were nearly 900 legal REC stores across Canada, up 120 from late February, and more than half the total stores were in Alberta. (Canopy expects as many as 1,200 REC stores to be open nationwide within this year.) At last count, Ontario had roughly 60–but as of last week, another 392 were varying stages of preparation. Cannabis Benchmarks estimates Ontario can support some 1,500 REC stores.
Business of Cannabis, Twitter–@jefflagerquist, @AlannaSokic
- This map of Ontario’s REC stores (with green markers for open stores and grey ones for stores in progress) shows the breadth of REC retail about to blanket the province.
- REC retail will likely expand even more widely when massive Toronto suburbs like Mississauga inevitably abandon their choice to opt out of REC retail.
Expanded competition will mean stores have to work harder to build customer loyalty. Small shops believe their size may play in their favour, as some argue larger retailers made legal REC look bad. Others believe once consumers have a choice of REC retailer, many will gravitate to “mom and pop dispensaries.”
Cannabis Retailer, Twitter–@LakeCityCanna, @WhatsMyPot
As new stores open, they have to figure out how much to cover their windows. Opaque windows aren’t required, but many stores have chosen them, not realizing federally compliant alternatives exist.
Other Retail News:
- In BC, retailers succeeded in pushing the province to consider online sales and private delivery.
- Though its public consultation period closed on March 10, Ontario is still considering comments and submissions on REC lounges, cafes, and special-occasion permits.