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Retail store counts in Canada right now

The CCSI was assessed at C$5.08 per gram this week, up 1.2% from last week’s C$5.02 per gram. This week’s price equates to US$1,834 per pound at the current exchange rate.

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. The number of stores continues to climb steadily across the country, making the legal cannabis system more accessible to consumers, or in some cases increasing competition amongst retailers in more saturated local markets. 

Our latest count shows the number of stores open for business reached 2,967 as of the end of December. That figure is up by 1,562 stores, or a jump of 111%, compared to December 2020. As can be seen in the chart above, Cannabis Benchmarks expects that trend to continue throughout this year but at a slightly slower rate.

With each province having different licensing processes, Cannabis Benchmarks has seen different growth rates in the number of retailers over the past year. Some provinces still have a public ownership model for brick and mortar stores, while the provinces with the largest number of stores have typically privatized the retail sector. 

Ontario had always been set up for private stores, but the method of issuing licenses changed from a limited lottery system to a more open licensing process in early 2020. Subsequently, Ontario was the shining star for the cannabis space, with 1,093 new stores open during the 2021 calendar year. After the slowest initial rollout of licensed stores among all provinces, Ontario now has 1,417 stores.

This figure is double that of Alberta, but there is still room to grow. Ontario’s population is 3.3 times that of Alberta, therefore we could see Ontario’s store count continue to grow to over 2,400 to have an equivalent per-capita level to Alberta.

Source: Canada Cannabis Spot IndexCannabis Benchmarks

See previous weekly updates from Cannabis Benchmarks:

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