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Low number of retail cannabis stores may make buying 'inconvenient' in legal market's first months: StatCan
New numbers released Wednesday by Statistics Canada indicate only 288 retail cannabis outlets will open for business between Oct. 17, when recreational marijuana becomes legal across the country, and the end of 2018.
Statistics Canada said the numbers are from provincial regulatory authorities.
“With a relatively small number of cannabis ‘bricks and mortar’ outlets, many Canadians may find it inconvenient to purchase cannabis in the early months, although they will also have the option of purchasing online or growing it for themselves,” the agency said in a release.
However, home growing isn’t allowed in Manitoba or Quebec.
Statistics Canada said 90 per cent of Canadians live within 10 kilometres of a retail liquor outlet, but for cannabis it’s estimated only 35 per cent of Canadians will live within 10 kilometres of an authorized retail outlet within the final few months of 2018.
According to Statistics Canada, in British Columbia 73 per cent of people are expected to live within 10 kilometres of a retail cannabis outlet, in Quebec the number is 40 per cent while Ontario, Nunavut and the Northwest Territories aren’t expected to have any cannabis stores in 2018. All other provinces and territories are expected to have 55 to 65 per cent of residents within 10 kilometres of a store in 2018.
Statistics Canada notes many more cannabis stores will open in 2019.
The Manitoba government is scheduled to share more details about cannabis legalization Wednesday afternoon, however, the province said it’s up to retailers to announce store openings.
CTV Winnipeg has reached out to cannabis companies who’ve been approved to open stores in the province.