By Emily Ledger
The Ontario government has announced plans to lift the cap on the number of Cannabis retailers permitted in the province. Supporters of the decision claim that the move will not only improve access and relief to currently under-served areas but will also help to bring down black market supply.
Since the Federal government legalised Cannabis over a year ago, the system has drawn criticism for a lack of legal dispensaries across the country, However, the announcement from the Ontario government provides hope for those with no access to a legal Cannabis retailer.
The proposals would see the authorisation of 20 new retailers per month, starting in April 2020. This means that there could be up to 250 dispensaries across the province at the end of next year. Until now, the majority of dispensaries in the province have been concentrated in its main city, Toronto.
Hugo Alves, CEO of Auxly Cannabis Group, expressed his praise of the government’s move:
“I think it’s the right move to improve retail distribution in the province. When people don’t have a lot of retail choice, they invariably go to non-regulated sources by a simple function of supply and demand.”
Despite the low numbers of Cannabis retailers in some provinces, like Ontario, the sector as exploded in other areas of Canada. For example, Alberta is seen to have built a thriving Cannabis market, with hundreds of stores opening across the province. Managing Director of TheCannalyst, Craig Wiggins claims that the announcement of the Ontario government “was long overdue”.
“Consumers will finally be able to go in and experience buying cannabis … Existing consumers get to go in and see what products are available.”
Competition produced by the influx of new retailers will also force the retailers to their game. The retailers will be competing to provide the best and most informative experience for their customers. The public and members of the industry will now be anticipating the improved accessibility to Cannabis in their province.
Canada legalised the second class of Cannabis products on the 17th of October this year. This began the rollout of Cannabis extracts, topicals, and edibles to customers around the country.