National Access Cannabis Gains 2 New Retail Licenses in Alberta

National Access Cannabis Corp. is planning to open retail outlets in Leduc and Calgary after gaining two additional licenses from the Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis Commission.

NAC bills itself as Canada’s largest cannabis retailer, citing a report compiled by Canaccord Genuity this month. It currently has 30 stores up and running, and it aims to have 40 dispensaries in operation by the end of 2019, and 110 by the end of 2020.

Alberta has been a major focus of its expansion drive since the province ended a six-month moratorium on retail cannabis licenses on May 30, 2019. The commission is now issuing five new licenses per week, and seven have gone to NAC since the moratorium was lifted.

“Today we have the largest footprint of retail cannabis stores in Canada, and we expect to maintain this position by continuing to pursue expansion opportunities, particularly in British Columbia and Ontario,” said chief executive Mark Goliger.

The Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis Commission decided to impose the moratorium in November 2018 due to a chronic lack of supply. It now feels this has been alleviated as more facilities are up and running across the country.

Alberta-based retailer High Tide has just unveiled three new Canna Cabana stores across the province, based in Beaumont, Calgary, and Lacombe. They have received their first cannabis deliveries from the commission and they are now serving their local consumers.

That brings the total number of Canna Cabana stores to 14. It expects its next 7 Canna Cabana locations and its first KushBar location to be licensed by the end of August, which will bring its total number to 22 stores across Canada.

Alberta permits operators to hold a maximum share of 15% of its cannabis retail market and High Tide is on course to hit that soon. The firm also has a Canna Cabana retail cannabis store in Saskatchewan, along with three branded locations in Hamilton, Sudbury, and Toronto, Ontario.

High Tide is also acquiring a second site in Saskatchewan, establishing a retail cannabis presence in Manitoba, and opening the maximum number of eight retail outlets permitted in British Columbia.

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Martin Green
Martin Green is an experienced journalist with a strong focus on the cannabis, alcohol, and gambling industries. He is particularly interested in the political issues affecting the global marijuana trade, and he has a keen focus on regulation changes and legal topics. He holds a BA English Literature, MA Creative Writing and a National Qualification in Journalism diploma. He has worked in journalism since 2009 and written for a broad range of newspapers, business titles and magazines, including The Sun, The Metro, The Journal, Livestrong, Drinks Retailing News, Harpers, Sportsbook Review, Vital Football, Essex Live and Surrey Live. Address: 682 Indian Road, Toronto, Ontario, M6P 2C9. Phone: 416-721-8257.
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