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Understanding cannabis retail store growth in Canada

The Canada Cannabis Spot Index (CCSI) was assessed at C$5.07 per gram this week, down 1.3% from last week’s C$5.14 per gram. This week’s price equates to US$1,856 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 provides an update on the increase in retail storefronts across Canada.

As of October 31, there were tracking 2,702 licensed retailers, with an average monthly growth rate of 7% in 2021. As seen in the chart, the growth in Canada’s retail stores has been driven primarily by Ontario’s quest to make legal cannabis more accessible.

In 2021, Ontario has opened an average of 90 stores per month, a trend we expect to slow down slightly next year as certain pockets of the Greater Toronto Area become saturated with stores.

According to an article in The Toronto Star, a new bill is being introduced to specify the minimum distance between cannabis retailers in an effort to prevent over-saturation. Bill 29 is unlikely to pass, but it addresses a growing issue in some Toronto neighborhoods.

With Ontario modifying its process of issuing retail licenses, the province quickly started handing out licenses without any rules to enforce business spacing.

Due to the quick roll-out of licenses, business owners signed leases in busy areas, often unaware that another store might be opening on the same block. At the moment, the Ontario government apparently believes that the best approach is to allow competition and the consumer to determine winners and losers.

Source: Canada Cannabis Spot IndexCannabis Benchmarks

See previous weekly updates from Cannabis Benchmarks:

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