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Canadian cannabis retail store count right now

The Canada Cannabis Spot Index was assessed at C$5.15 per gram this week, down -1.3% from last week’s C$5.22 per gram. This week’s price equates to US$1,870 per pound at the current exchange rate.

cannabis insights about the number of cannabis retail stores in canada by province

Each week, Business of Cannabis delivers a series of insights from our partners at Cannabis Benchmarks®.

This week, Cannabis Benchmarks reviews Canada’s recreational cannabis store count. They have been tracking this number very closely because there has been a very strong correlation between stores and sales. The number of stores continues to climb steadily across the country, making the legal cannabis system more accessible to consumers and, in some cases, increasing competition between retailers in more saturated local markets. 

Cannabis Benchmarks’ latest count shows the number of stores open for business reached 3,138 as of the end of March. That figure is up by 1,344 stores – or a jump of 75% – compared to March 2021. As shown in the chart above, they expect that trend to continue throughout this year but at a slightly slower rate, a change that is already playing out. During Q1 2022, an average of 74 new stores opened each month, which is much lower than the 127 stores added monthly during the same quarter in 2021.

As noted a few months back, one province that sticks out is Alberta. Cannabis Benchmarks have long been awaiting a slowdown in the number of stores added each month, but Alberta’s store count continues to grow at a steady rate. The current count is 757 stores, which is 155 more than last March. The situation is already ultra-competitive amongst Alberta cannabis retailers, but it is expected to become even more so with the passing of Bill 80 in December. That measure allowed licensed retailers to set up their own e-commerce platforms starting on March 8, 2022. At the moment only the major retail chains have established an online presence, but over time almost every store should have a simple, Shopify-type site to fulfill online orders.

They expect this change will lead to lower cannabis prices for customers, as the larger, more efficient retailers flex their pricing muscle. They also believe this trend will eventually lead to a flattening store count, as new store openings are offset by the closing of unprofitable ones.

Source: Canada Cannabis Spot IndexCannabis Benchmarks

See previous weekly updates from Cannabis Benchmarks:

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