2018 was the biggest Grow Up conference expo yet, with big name speakers from the likes of Aurora, Canopy, and Health Canada. We’ve summarized the key learnings from the conference to help retailers get ahead in this fast-changing industry.
Ontario is the next big target for everyone
Everyone from LPs to existing store owners to prospective store owners who were unsuccessful in locking down a retail license are looking at Ontario. Expect similar zoning laws as that of cities in other provinces: 300 meters away from schools, hospitals, and community centers
In addition, expect the locking down of real estate to be one of, if not the most, expensive processes when it comes to planning a retail store
Ontarian entrepreneurs are in the very early stages of learning how to open stores. As a cannabis business, there is a lot of opportunity in positioning yourself as a thought leader and a helper of the industry.
Cities hold a lot, if not the most amount of control over cannabis retail
Whereas the provincial governments are responsible for cannabis retail cannabis tracking systems, cities are the ones mostly responsible for zoning and allowing licensing. Speakers at the “New Rules Explained” panel emphasized the importance of having direct conversations with local city councils and forming community relationships early to maximize the chances of being approved.
What we’ve seen from our most successful clients from the past 2 years is that it absolutely pays off to have strong, bilateral relationships between your business and the city.
Businesses should prepare for edibles production now
Canada has a thriving edibles production scene that is unfortunately going to get completely disregarded by the October 17 regulations. The same applies for concentrates – from our data, roughly 30% of a store’s sales can come from these two product categories.
All is not lost yet though – while existing producers may stay underground until they can re-emerge, opportunities exist in the form of cannabis processing licenses, which currently only allow for oil production, but late next year may allow for edibles and pre-rolls. Panelists at Grow Up believe that the best run edibles businesses are already several steps ahead and are already in the process of applying for and locking these licenses down.
Are you looking for a software solution catered specifically towards the processing industry but is not held back by the burdens of entire seed-to-sale systems? Contact us for more information.
Health Canada may be requiring considerably more reporting data from retailers with the Edibles regulations next year
For the first time ever, Health Canada held a booth at a cannabis expo. The Greenline team had the opportunity to speak directly with Benoit M Séguin, the cannabis compliance director. He mentioned that while compliance data will be relatively simple to start (requiring data on how much cannabis was sold, transferred, destroyed, purchased, etc.), the data requested may be substantially more complex next year with the introduction of edibles by forcing stores to track sales down to the batch level.
Independent cannabis and corporate chains both have room for success
Large franchises and LPs are working hard to lock down as many licenses as possible, but it certainly does not mean that independent business owners are left in the dust. The state of the industry is such that it’s not possible for a winner to take all – there will be many different customer segments and many different ways to engage with municipalities, making it difficult for a single type of retailer to fully dominate the market.
Are you looking to open a cannabis retail business? Maybe you’re in the early stages of licensing, or maybe you’ve already been licensed and are looking for guidance on the operations of your store. Greenline is Canada’s most experienced cannabis retail POS with a heavy emphasis on compliance and adapting to regulatory changes as fast as possible, and we’re here to help the industry! Call us about anything, and we’re sure we can provide value.
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