The Alberta premier has lauded its province for a leading position in the Canadian cannabis retail market.
Premier Rachel Notley told CTV Calgary on Tuesday (January 1) the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Corporation (AGLC) is “well ahead of the rest of the country” in its retail marijuana strategy.
“We have more product and more access to the product in Alberta than in other parts of the country,” the premier said.
Following the legalization of recreational cannabis in Canada on October 17, the provinces have been allowed to set up retail models to allow consumers the purchase of legal product.
Alberta kicked off a more decisive start to its legal retail cannabis market as it opened the doors to a restricted model preventing licensed producers from dominating the market, but still able to hold a stake in it.
Currently Alberta counts with 65 officially licensed retailers, a bigger amount than Quebec and BC combined. Ontario will open its doors to the retail market through a roll-up of applicants starting in April.
However, Alberta has also faced issues in its roll-out of a legal cannabis market. In November the province announced it had to stop the application process for more retail licenses as it was facing a shortage of legal cannabis product.
In a letter, Alain Maisonneuve, president and CEO of the AGLC, said the province had ordered enough product to support up to 250 retail stores in the first six months of legalization but in reality had only obtained about 20 percent of its total order.
The province wouldn’t disclose which LPs had failed to deliver on its agreements with the province.
The operation of physical cannabis retail in Canada has become an emerging play in the public sector as it offers an immediate source of revenue.
As part of a retail trade update in October, Statistics Canada revealed Canadians had spent C$43 million at cannabis stores during the first two weeks of legalization.
At the time, the federal government agency indicated Alberta came in second place for sales revenues, behind Ontario, bringing in C$5.6 million.
Statistics Canada warned the “availability of cannabis across the country was affected by differences in retail structures in each province and territory.”
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Securities Disclosure: I, Bryan Mc Govern, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.