Pot-Shop Proximity Jumps in Canada After a Slow Retail Roll-Out



(Bloomberg) — Canada’s pot industry is having a rough year, but that hasn’t dashed the hopes of retailers looking to cash in on the newly legalized commodity.

The total number of retail cannabis stores rose to 407 in July, an increase of 88% in the past four months, Statistics Canada said Wednesday in Ottawa.

That means nearly half of all residents have a legal marijuana dealer within 10 kilometers (6.2 miles), up from nearly one third in March. The jump is mostly due to the late roll-out of brick-and-mortar retailers in Ontario, Canada’s most populous province.

The concentration of retail stores varies across the country. More than half of all residents in Alberta, Newfoundland, Manitoba and New Brunswick have a store close by, while Ontario is still lagging at 33%.

By comparison, 90% of Canadians lived within 10 kilometers of liquor stores as of last year, according to the statistics agency.

The legal marijuana industry has developed more slowly than expected in Canada and investors have taken notice. This year, several large cannabis companies had to revise or eliminate earnings forecasts amid the slow retail roll-out in Ontario and Quebec. Pot stocks are down approximately two-thirds from their highs in March.

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