In a conversation with BNN Bloomberg that included his saying, “I’m a businessperson first, and an elected official second,” Ontario premier Doug Ford promised, “We’re going to open up stores. We’re going to have more stores than all the provinces combined.”
- Ford claimed his government’s glacial retail rollout was prudent compared with Alberta, where “when the stores were open, they didn’t have any supply.”
- Cannalyst Craig Wiggins shot back, “Total Number of Days of [Inventory] at LPs has been greater than 417 all but March 2019 when they shipped to fill the 24 Ontario stores. @fordnation DO THE MATH and quit lying.”
Michael J. Armstrong responded, “Ford rightly blames growers for slow cannabis sales up to June. But since then Ontario’s store shortage has been the bottleneck. He’s behind the times.” He added, “Over the past year, Ontario has licensed 28 stores. The rest of Canada has averaged 42 PER MONTH.”
Twitter—Michael J Armstrong
- Counting stores that have been approved and are planned to open in coming months, Ontario has one store per 211,159 residents, the feeblest per-capita REC retail coverage of any province. It’s followed by Quebec, which offers one store per 197,326 residents, and Nova Scotia, with one per 107,933. Twitter—Matt Lamers, Jesse Staniforth
- Alberta has one REC store per 10,635 residents, followed by Newfoundland and Labrador, which has one store per 20,862, and Saskatchewan, which has one per 28,634.
To date, the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario has received roughly 600 applications for REC stores, though the AGCO reports numerous applications are “deficient” and are slowing down the processing of other applications.
Ford responded to criticisms from Canopy Growth, Aphria, and Aurora executives by arguing, “They didn’t have the supply ready. […] A lot of cannabis companies jumped into this with blindfolders [sic] on.”