Competition remained limited during the first year. Canadian cannabis store counts are closely related to consumer spending on legal, government-regulated marijuana. Couche-Tard, owner of the Circle K convenience stores, also announced in April that it intends to increase its stake in the cannabis company to 35 percent, from approximately 20 percent. The Ontario cannabis store, the Crown agency that is the province's only wholesaler, offers a delivery service.
In Toronto, for example, there are about 450 cannabis stores and dozens more retail applications are being reviewed, according to recent figures from the provincial regulator. How GTA entrepreneurs are trying to change who makes money in Canada's legal cannabis industry. Jaffery had spent much of his last year of college in the school library, studying the newly legalized cannabis industry to be ready to start working right away. Cannabis “is a regulated space with a lot of unforeseen requirements for running a retail store,” Raymer explained.
Cannabis retail consultant Raymer anticipates some closures in certain Ontario cities, citing “too many stores for population density.” There are 1,457 retail cannabis stores operating in Ontario, and applications for another 471 are being reviewed, according to the Ontario Alcohol and Gaming Commission (AGCO). However, not all pending store authorizations will actually be met, predicted Krista Raymer, co-founder of Ontario-based cannabis brand and retail consulting firm Vetrina Group. And the Canadian cannabis industry points out that it has been difficult for companies to make a profit in the sector due to competition. This has prompted interested parties to make some unfortunate predictions for the industry; the CEO of a Canadian cannabis brand predicts that around 1000 of Canada's approximately 3200 cannabis stores will close this year, likely to disproportionately affect the largest markets in the large urban centers, such as Toronto.
Commercial real estate listings and classified ads show at least four dozen retail cannabis businesses for sale in Ontario, particularly in Toronto. As store manager, Samir thoroughly researches all options before placing his weekly orders at the Ontario cannabis store. Toronto cannabis retailer 6 of Spade became the 1,000th store in the province when it opened in August of this year. The selection attracts true cannabis enthusiasts from all over the city and, as a result, the business has been going well.