Ever since Canada fully legalized cannabis for recreational use on October 17th, 2017, dispensaries began popping up by the bushel. Indeed, Canada has become the epicenter of cannabis culture. The country is home to a multitude of yearly cannabis-themed events and popups, while Canada weed stores offer users access to their favorite THC products through storefronts and online.
Though rules vary by province, the widespread legalization has led to great market growth for many areas. At the head of this cannabis market boom is Ontario, the largest populated province, boasting 14.8 million people. They recently reached a massive milestone, with 1,000 fully operating legal cannabis stores. The specific store that put Ontario’s numbers over the top was Spade, a black-owned cannabis business that opened on August 20th, 2021.
However, as more and more stores begin to open up, Canada is looking to export some of its products to America. The rollout has had a few hiccups, and in order to keep the cannabis industry thriving, weed stores in Canada have had to think outside the box.
Clever Efforts to Set Canadian Companies Up For Success
This massive achievement marks a turning point in Canada’s relationship to the cannabis market, which initially suffered due to black market cannabis availability and difficulties with selling across the border. To combat this, Canada has made efforts to create unique cross-border deals that will grant them the freedom to sell cannabis in the United States.
According to an article from The Portland Press Herald, many cannabis companies have bypassed exporting restrictions by partnering with American companies like Miracle-Gro and Acreage Holdings. Fire & Flower, for example, is a Canadian retailer that opened a storefront dispensary in Palm Springs California. They were able to do this by licensing their company through American Acres, a strategic move that will prove to be financially fruitful.
Canad Has Lot of Weed and a Lot of Trouble Selling it
These cross-border deals place many Canadian cannabis companies in a unique position to sell off their cannabis surplus when the United States inevitably embraces federal legalization. Due to the high volume of legal cannabis stores, many in the industry are worried about self-cannibalization and oversaturation.
The Ontario Cannabis Retail Corporation, which maintains a legal monopoly and operates as the distributor of cannabis in Ontario, has reported issues with selling due to the black market as well. According to Bloomberg, many users prefer getting weed from dealers. Some of the reasons include that those in rural areas may be less inclined to drive to the city for cannabis. Other users buy from dealers because street weed is often 30-35% cheaper than dispensary weed.
Regardless of the cause, having connections and opportunities to sell cannabis to Canada’s friends down south will prove essential to maintaining the cannabis industry. Many cannabis stores in Canada will have to keep coming up with creative loopholes and strategic partnerships in order to keep pace with American companies, which have no problem exporting their products to Canada.