Province Leads the Way in Normalizing Cannabis Market – LPC

Alberta's cannabis retailers leading the wayAlberta’s cannabis retailers lead the way when it comes to normalizing cannabis sales and creating a maturing market. That’s important for many reasons – including consumer satisfaction. But one of the key reasons that federal and provincial governments talk about is to keep down black market cannabis. Alberta’s cannabis retailers offer legal availability like no other province has so far.

“It’s getting closer to being able to always ensure the top-selling strains are in stock,” said Darren Bondar. He’s the chief executive and president of Inner Spirit Holdings Ltd., which owns the Spiritleaf retail franchise chain. There’s still room for improvement, Bondar said. “We need more product volume and variety from licensed producers to be able to differentiate ourselves.”

According to this Globe and Mail report, Alberta’s cannabis retailers are operating like any retailer. (Please see link below.) They are offering discounts, loyalty programs, and focus on the customer experience. This helps overcome “burdensome” regulations on advertising and promotions.

Currently, Alberta’s cannabis retailers number over 300. At least one analyst expects that number could hit 550 stores before the market is saturated. The industry is maturing so successfully that prices have come down, making legal options even more attractive.

Alberta’s Cannabis Retailers and Industry a Blueprint for Other Provinces – LPC

Most other provinces are lagging far behind in retail stores. Most notably, Ontario still only had 24 bricks-and-mortar stores open in the first year of legalization, and all of them south of Sudbury. The government said its cannabis licence lottery was meant to slow the process to make up for cannabis shortages-slash-supply chain issues. However, with recent reports of Aurora dumping cannabis supply, that seems to be less of an issue.

On the other hand, black market supply continues to thrive in many places. Although BC still has the lowest legal cannabis sales per capita, there is a direct connection with availability. In short, if there is a legal supply, people will access it.

There are signs of change. Recently Saskatchewan announced it will move to an open cannabis market retail model. Soon, Saskatchewan’s cannabis retailers will look much like Alberta’s cannabis retailers. It seems to be the system that works best in Canada: safe supply, secure stores, and wide access. Only then will illegal cannabis be less attractive.

This editorial content from the LPC News Team provides analysis, insight, and perspective on current news articles. To read the source article this commentary is based upon, please click on the link below.

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