As many of you have noticed over the past few months, Cannabis stores are popping up at most intersections in and around the Greater Toronto Area. Most people wonder; what gives?
- In September, the AGCO doubled the authorizations from 20 – 40 stores per month.
- In December 2020, the AGCO doubled the authorizations to 80 stores per month.
- As of Mid-February, the AGCO has once again increased the authorizations to 120 / month.
Canadians see stores everywhere, and it is becoming overwhelming.
It begs the question; are there too many stores, and who will survive?
Canadians need to look directly at themselves when it comes to the future survival of Cannabis stores. Consumers will have a say in who will exist and who will disappear with the vast amount of stores popping up.
It is important to note the type of stores that are popping up.
Cannabis is not impervious to corporate capitalism forces, and we are seeing the emergence of larger entities attempting to take a stranglehold on the industry. With forward-looking statements as they try and create the next Walmart, Dollarama, Apple, large chains are popping-up around Canada as they seek to justify their inflated valuations to domestic and foreign public investors.
The independent shops offer unique and localized retail services and selection, reminding us of the small business dream. The dream to build upon a business of your own, grow your team and your community together.
These independent shops (like ours) are also at risk of elimination. We see corporations entering small communities and taking on operational losses to force independent businesses to lower their prices. Anti-competitive behaviour among big corporations is nothing new but should be expected.
Consumers have a choice when it comes to shopping locally and independently.
How can you help?
- Look to support small businesses and independent cannabis shops in your community rather than help pay for another CEO’s superyacht.
- Look for stores that listen to you and your desired experiences.
- Look for stores that will engage in hearing your feedback and building a localized menu. Look for the companies that have employees that are retained, cared for, and treated with respect.
The problem is that you all get your license and products from the same entity and sell for the same price.