Media Report: MJ Biz Looks At the Numbers & Sees A Large Uptick Of Closures of Canadian Cannabis Retail Outlets

Here’s the introduction to their piece.

A record number of cannabis stores in Canada might have closed or changed hands in 2023, according to new data from regulators in the three largest Canadian marijuana markets.

The data paints a picture of a viciously competitive retail landscape in some parts of the country, while other areas appear to remain in a steady build-out phase.

MJBizDaily asked regulators for data about cannabis retail license cancellations and new licenses issued in Alberta, British Columbia and Ontario, which together account for nearly 75% of regulated marijuana sales in Canada.

The number of cannabis retail licenses that were canceled or not renewed in Alberta during 2023 exceed the number of new store licenses issued – the first time this has happened in the province since Canada legalized marijuana in 2018.

In 2023, 62 cannabis store licenses were canceled or not renewed in Alberta; meanwhile, 48 new cannabis store licenses were issued.

The previous year, Alberta regulators issued 140 new store licenses compared with 73 licenses that were canceled or not renewed by license holders.

The data paints a rough picture of store closures.

Provincial regulator Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis (AGLC) cautions against drawing a direct line between a store canceling a license and the store exiting the industry, citing several other possibilities, including relocation.

Alberta currently has 749 cannabis providers, and the province is thought to be Canada’s most mature marijuana retail market.

Matt Maurer, chair of the Cannabis Law Group at Torkin Manes in Toronto, said it makes sense to see the number of new store licenses fall in a market such as Alberta, which already is well established.

Read the full article and more numbers here

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