While Canada’s liquor retailing system is well established and has existed for many decades, the one for cannabis is new and will require years to fully develop. As of August 2018, there were 2,895 liquor stores in Canada, while early information from the provincial regulatory authorities indicates there may be 288 cannabis retail outlets open for business in the fourth quarter. There will, of course, be many more cannabis stores opened in subsequent quarters. With a relatively small number of cannabis “bricks and mortar” outlets, Statistics Canada says 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 situation will vary greatly across the country as some provinces are more advanced in preparing for retail cannabis sales after October 17, while others are not expected to open legal sales outlets until some months later. See also: Study suggests majority of Canadians worry about drug-impaired driving In the case of liquor stores, 90 per cent of Canadians live within 10 kilometres (km) of a retail outlet and 82 per cent live within 5 km. However, in the case of cannabis it is estimated that only 35 per cent of Canadians will live within 10 km and 25 per cent within 5 km of an authorized retail outlet in the fourth quarter of 2018. On the one hand, British Columbia is expected to lead the way with 73 per cent living within the 10 km radius, according to Statistics Canada. On the other hand, Ontario, the Northwest Territories and Nunavut are not expected to have any cannabis retail outlets in the fourth quarter. Quebec is expected to have 40 per cent of its population within the 10 km radius and the other provinces and territories are all expected to have between 55 per cent and 66 per cent within the radius.
Source: Rising Tide Consultants

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