5 Key Takeaways from Hempfest Calgary 2018

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Hempfest Calgary was one of the best physically designed events to date and also the closest to the October 17th legalization date for retail sales. Attendees range from curious Calgarians to pre-existing stores and future retail hopefuls, as well as cannabis service providers and technology companies.

Here are the top 5 take aways from the event

Cannabis legalization is here, but supply isn’t yet

Licensed producers are still on their 4th or 5th batch of product. This means that they are still in the process of building up supply. Larger companies such as Aurora are not even considering supplying provinces like Saskatchewan until a few months after October 17th.

In the initial months, we may see a dip in either quantity of products available for retailers or decreased strain selection and consumer choice. This issue will likely be resolved to an extent after a few more months of time once the industry reaches equilibrium between supplier stock and consumer demand. But we still have a lot of work to get done.

senate passes legalization of cannabis in canada

Most licensed retailers will not open the week of October 17th

The majority of stores are delayed by many months for multiple reasons including supply shortages and building issues, other hold ups include Alberta’s strategy towards legalization and the process of AGLC audits. – Alberta is doing a test run with the first licensees to see the effects on the provincial cannabis supply chain and societal impacts of legalization before they allow for more licences to be released. To date, only 17 licensed retailers are permitted to operate in the province. As a result, the next wave of cannabis retail applicants will likely take action past January 2019.

On the other hand, the process of getting started for a licensed store is also dependent on the AGLC’s vetting process. In order to book an audit with the AGLC for a cannabis retail storefront, the store must have a POS system and reporting structure in place complete with hardware.

Audits are also on a backlog so retailers may have to wait for available spots.


The market keeps growing and so do the ancillary offerings and brands

The growing presence of ancillary services to the cannabis industry is on display now more than ever. Companies boasting services in delivery, ordering ahead and medical testing are increasing in number rapidly. This is especially interesting for products and services that are not yet regulated under the current legal framework such as delivery services however companies are hoping to get a leg up in market awareness and consumer demand.

Cannabis expo

Presentations at cannabis trade shows and events continue to improve

Compared to the earlier presentations offered by cannabis companies in expos and conferences, Calgary boasted some of the most visually appealing displays and brand presentations seen to date. This highlights two key points: one, the amount of branding dollars spent by exhibitors has increased dramatically and two, the amount of competition for eyes and exposure has increased in turn as a result of more money being spent at these events. Exhibitors need to get creative if they are to stand out in a more and more crowded space.


Only Greenline POS has one-click compliance report generation

After speaking at length with current licensed retailers and future retailers hoping to open up shop, one thing is very clear: Greenline POS is the only cannabis point of sale with one click compliance report generation. This has resulted in a huge uptick in prospective customers reaching out to us asking for a solution to their compliance worries. Not having one-click monthly compliance generation for each province can add several hours of manual spreadsheet work to your team’s task list. Why bother with manual entry and report generation when software can handle the task for you in a fraction of a second? It pays off in the long term to have compliance report generation as an automated process.


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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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