The Alberta Gaming, Liquor, and Cannabis commission announced that the province has halted issuing new licenses for retail cannabis locations.
The AGLC has issued 65 retail cannabis licenses meaning that potentially 65 companies could be opening one or more locations in the province.
The provincial laws limit retailers to 37 locations.
However, the provincial distributors have also announced that this hold up is only due to a sinister lack of cannabis in the province.
“AGLC ordered enough product to support up to 250 retail stores in the first six months of legalization; however, as of Nov. 17 we have only received approximately 20% of what we had ordered,” AGLC president Alain Maisonneuve said in a news release.
This is due in part to some of the licensed producers that have signed supply agreements not being able to deliver the whole or even parts of the contingent they promised.
Current and future store owners hurting
Many store owners that were hoping to open locations in the next few months are now not so happy.
One such owner is Phil Hulmes, the president of My Marijuana Store.
Phil said that he applied for the license way back in April, and hoped to open three locations by December 15th.
Now, he is deeply concerned because he and his partners have invested everything they’ve had in this business, and they still aren’t even licensed, let alone seeing returns.
“The costs get into the tens of thousands of dollars very quickly for one single location and we have three,” said Hulmes.“At this point if you’ve invested all of your personal money — we’re talking retirements, everything, it’s in there. We’ve mortgaged, we’ve leveraged absolutely everything we possibly can — there’s no turning back now.”
The AGLC also announced a few days ago that the province will be introducing an online ordering system for cannabis retailers.
The province also hosted the first ever cannabis trade show in Calgary just yesterday.
Retailers are now affraid that if the producers don’t scale up their production capacity that the market will suffer a long term shortage, and they won’t be given licenses for a very long time.
AGLC spokeswoman Heather Holmen has said that the licensing will continue once the commission sees a reliable, long-term supply solution.