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Below is the part of a weekly series of benchmarks provided by the team at Cannabis Benchmarks®.
Cannabis Benchmarks has reported previously that new licensed cannabis retailers have continued to open in Canada even during the lockdowns imposed to battle the COVID-19 pandemic.
During the first half of this year, an average of just under 50 new stores opened monthly even as businesses and regulators dealt with the coronavirus fallout. We anticipate that the rate of new store openings will increase going forward.
There has also been an interesting development in Alberta. In 2019, convenience store operator Alimentation Couche-Tard invested in cannabis retail chain Fire & Flower. Now, a pilot program will see Circle K convenience stores co-located with the cannabis retailers, although due to regulations the operations will be separate despite being on the same property. Fire & Flower hope that the cannabis side will benefit from the customer traffic generated by the convenience store.
Such strategies may be what is needed for legal cannabis businesses to stamp out the illicit market in Canada.