Local cannabis stores having mixed success with supply

In Alberta, which has the most stores for the product in the country, people lined up, grabbed their products and, as has been reported, drained supply from some retailers.

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While there are reports of legal cannabis retailers in Alberta facing supply issues a week into legalization, local Tri-Region businesses are not as troubled.

After more than two years of planning, cannabis and related products became legal to purchase in Canada through a strict regulatory system on Oct. 17. In Alberta, which has the most stores for the product in the country, people lined up, grabbed their products and, as has been reported, drained supply from some retailers. In Spruce Grove and Stony Plain, situations are different than other province retailers.

According to representatives from Alcanna Inc.’s Nova Cannabis chain, location in Spruce Grove, business has been good, customers have stayed calm and supply (Alcanna CEO James Burns recently told the CBC his company ordered a “very, very large amount”) remains plentiful for anyone interested in buying.

“We’ve been busy, there is no doubt about it,” Grant Sanderson, Alcanna’s regional manager of operations for Alberta said. “Currently we have still got supply and I am not sure there will be a shortage at this point. Though we have been told we will be receiving more product I guess [a shortage] is still a possibility. Right now we are focused on being part of the community and being a great Spruce Grove neighbour.”


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Others expressed similar sentiment, but also had issues with how the Alberta government is operating with respect to their distribution and sales (the commission operates the only online store) of cannabis to the public. Also, retailers can only order in more products from them once a week, something Stony Plain’s Daily Blaze Co-Owner Brandon Frick remains deeply concerned about.

“As a wholesale side, there is no product available,” Daily Blaze Co-Owner Brandon Frick said Tuesday. “But when I look on the retail side of the [Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis Commission’s] website, there are very few products which are actually not available. So I ordered products … what would be the equivalent of an entire case from the retail site and it never came out of stock.”

Frick went on to suggest it appeared the government as a wholesaler and retailer was not playing the game fairly, but said he was reaching out to them. In the meantime, he reported Daily Blaze had had a “ton of success” at retail to date and said businesses are still learning, but will do well in the economic times to come.

“Now the businesses have been set up and we understand our market and have some experience, if we have the product, we can seamlessly deliver to the consumer,” he said. “The biggest challenge right now is supply. I’m not blaming the commission, just trying to be part of the system to figure out what is wrong.”

The Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis Commission did respond when asked about questions Frick had with their site. According to communications manager Heather Holmen, a specific amount was set aside for the site ahead of legalization.

“As part of our business planning, AGLC developed projections for albertacannabis.org,” she said in an emailed statement. “As such, set amount of stock was allocated for the website with the remaining product available to retailers for purchase. AGLC is allocating as much as we can to retailers and are committed to providing as much assistance as possible to retail licenses in this new industry.”


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