‘Increasing recognition that cannabis may have a range of legitimate medicinal benefits and therapeutic applications is driving cannabis legalization around the world, and Canada is no exception,’ says Jeewani Fernando, provincial consumer market analyst with Alberta Agriculture and Forestry.

‘Following legalization in October of 2019, the retail non-medicinal cannabis market has grown considerably in Canada.’

Alberta has the highest number of legal cannabis stores in Canada. As of the end of March 2021, Alberta Gaming Liquor and Cannabis had approved 600 stores. Retail store cannabis sales for the province reported significant growth.

‘Monthly retail store sales from October 2018 to October 2020 show that total sales grew from $5.7 million to $56.6 million, indicating a significant 893% growth within a 2-year period. In addition to the launch of cannabis 2.0 products in late 2019, a comparatively larger number of licensed retail cannabis outlets in Alberta than in other regions may have contributed to this significant growth in sales,’ explains Fernando.

Given the increasing retail store sales and the unique aspects of Canadian legalization, notably a national strategy focused on the protection of public health and keeping cannabis out of the hands of children, Fernando points out Alberta entrepreneurs may pursue business opportunities in the cannabis supply chain, from growing and processing to wholesaling and retailing.

‘Alberta has opportunities in the cannabis industry in 2 areas, product diversification and market diversification. Product diversification includes cannabis wellness products and expansion of non-smoking products, while market diversification may include such things as cannabis dining and tourism cafes, and restaurants or hotel stays that permit cannabis use,’ says Fernando.

Read Trends in Retail’s Trends in Cannabis Sales


For more information, contact Jeewani Fernando:

Hours: 8:15 am to 4:30 pm (open Monday to Friday, closed statutory holidays)
Phone: 780-415-9773
Toll free: 310-0000 before the phone number (in Alberta)
Email: [email protected]

For media inquiries about this article, call Alberta Agriculture and Forestry’s media line:
Phone: 780-422-1005

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