Leaders of the regulated cannabis industry in Canada are pleading for the Ontario provincial government to open the market for more retail stores.
In an open letter issued on October 28 to the office of Ontario Premier Doug Ford, chief executives from leading public cannabis firms asked the province to take a closer look at changing its current policy.
“Compared to other provinces, Ontario is lagging far behind,” the letter from the CEOs states.
The Cannabis Council of Canada is an association created to protect the interests of licensed producers (LPs) in Canada. The entire list of executives who signed this letter is as follows:
- Alison Gordon – 48North (TSXV:NRTH)
- Irwin D. Simon – Aphria (NYSE:APHA,TSX:APHA)
- Terry Booth – Aurora Cannabis (NYSE:ACB,TSX:ACB)
- Mark Zekulin – Canopy Growth (NYSE:CGC,TSX:WEED)
- Mike Gorenstein – Cronos Group (NASDAQ:CRON,TSX:CRON)
- Sebastien St. Louis – HEXO (NYSE:HEXO,TSX:HEXO)
- Greg Engel – Organigram Holdings (NASDAQ:OGI,TSXV:OGI)
- Torsten Kuenzlen – Sundial Growers (NASDAQ:SNDL)
- Navdeep Dhaliwal – The Supreme Cannabis Company (TSX:FIRE,OTCQX:SPRWF)
- Brendan Kennedy – Tilray (NASDAQ:TLRY)
The CEOs are asking Ford to make every effort possible to ensure the number of stores in the province “significantly” increases since this move would support LPs.
The province has long had general issues with supply; a bottleneck of cannabis products was the main reason Ontario elected to take a slower approach for the rollout of retail shops.
“There is ample supply of cannabis for the adult recreational market — there simply is no longer a shortage,” the letter from the cannabis leaders reads.
The slow rollout isn’t affecting just producers of cannabis — it has also impacted companies dedicated to managing retail networks in Canada.
During an interview with the Investing News Network (INN), Darren Bondar, CEO of Inner Spirit Holdings (CSE:ISH), said Ontario could hold easily 1,000 stores “without looking like the pot capital of the world.”
Instead of opening a free market for private parties to apply and set up shops across the province, the Ontario government elected to create a lottery system and issue a set number of licenses, which still require validation after the lottery.
A side effect of the lottery system was the immediate deal-making point of view created for lottery winners, who, rather than go through the process of setting up a store, elected to allow the participation of other established firms, including LPs.
The lottery process has been heavily criticized for its restrictive nature and for the limited number of licenses actually issued.
In a previous interview with INN, a former executive director of the council, Allan Rewak, said it was set up to discuss the issues currently affecting LPs.
These leagues and team ups for cannabis companies and executives are not rare. Earlier this year, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce officially launched a new banding of cannabis companies with the creation of the National Cannabis Working Group.
A spokesperson for the government of Ontario did not reply to a request for comment regarding the letter from the council.
Don’t forget to follow us @INN_Cannabis for real-time news updates!
Securities Disclosure: I, Bryan Mc Govern, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.
Seattle Area Grocery Chain Metropolitan Market to Begin Carrying KOIOS and Fit Soda on March 22, 2021
Adding to its existing presence on the west coast of the United States, all five KOIOS™ flavours and all four Fit Soda™ flavours will be carried in Metropolitan Market stores beginning on Monday, March 22, 2021. Serving the Seattle-Tacoma area (population 3.87 million), Metropolitan Market is one of five chains under its parent firm Good Food Holdings, which has a total of 51 stores in California, Oregon, and Washington State.
Koios Beverage Corp. (CSE: KBEV; OTC: KBEVF) (the “Company” or “Koios”) is pleased to announce that beginning on Monday, March 22, 2021, Koios’ entire line of canned beverage products will be sold at all locations of Metropolitan Market, an urban format supermarket chain in the Seattle-Tacoma area of Washington State. In Q1 2021, the Company announced multiple placements of its beverage products with regional grocers in markets on the west coast of the United States including Market of Choice in Oregon Jensen’s in Southern California and major natural grocery chain Sprouts Farmers Market which has a substantial west coast presence with over one third of its locations (360+ stores across 23 states) in California as well as Washington State 1 . The Company has also recently announced other developments relating to its expansion efforts being undertaken in 2021 such as an in-house beverage canning facility and distribution agreements with regional and national wholesale partners.
Pineapple Express Delivery Partners with CannTrust to Offer Same-Day and Next-Day Delivery for estoraTM Medical Cannabis Patients in Ontario
Ensuring estoraTMpatients have seamless access to their high-quality medical cannabis products
World-Class Extractions Inc. (CSE:PUMP)(FRA:WCF)(OTCQB:WCEXF) (the “Company” or “World-Class”) is pleased to announce that its subsidiary Pineapple Express Delivery Inc. (“Pineapple Express Delivery” or “PED”), a leading logistics technology company offering compliant and secure delivery of controlled substances and regulated products, has partnered with CannTrust Inc. to bring same-day and next-day delivery to estoraTM medical cannabis patients in Ontario
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