Best Practices

The Best Cities To Open A Retail Cannabis Shop In Canada

Canada has seen explosive growth in it’s market in a short time span

Canada’s recreational cannabis industry has been in operation for a little more than a year, and it’s already seen explosive growth. Even, Ontario saw cannabis sales more than double in April on the back of new store openings. Canada’s retailers can barely keep up with the high number of customers in each market. Simply put, it’s an exciting time for cannabis entrepreneurs.

From Toronto to Vancouver, there are hundreds of shops running today, but analysts believe there’s enough demand to sustain many more. Furthermore, as the federal government roles out legislation for legal edible products and some jurisdictions are discussing possible cannabis lounges and cafés, there’s a bounty of opportunity from coast to coast.

Want to start a retail cannabis dispensary in Canada? We’ve put together a guide on some of the best cities in The Great White North to launch your business. The centers on this list have both business and cannabis-friendly policies and robust economies to support long-term success for retailers.

Toronto, Ontario

Ontario’s cannabis market has been a bright spot where recreational stores are thriving. The province’s industry will continue to boom as the total number of dispensaries allowed will be 150 by 2020. There are also campaigns for Ontario to one day permit cannabis lounges and cafés, which were popular under prohibition. Toronto is of course on the forefront of Ontario’s cannabis market. Stores like The Hunny Pot Cannabis CoAmeri, and Tokyo Smoke are already leaders in this space, which has only just begun to show its potential. Business-friendly Toronto offers lower operating costs when compared to other major centers, like New York City. Furthermore, its close proximity from the US border and unique attractions make it an ideal destination for cannabis tourism.

Ottawa, Ontario

Ottawa is shaping up to be a lucrative market for recreational cannabis. Its large university population and robust tourism, manufacturing, and technology sectors mean there are plenty of ideal demographics for recreational cannabis stores to serve. Not only that, but Ottawa has a relatively low business tax rate and is an affordable place to live. Fire & Flower and Superette are two examples of high-quality cannabis stores pushing the city’s cannabis retail market forward.

Waterloo, Ontario

The recreational marijuana market is still transitioning in Waterloo. Twenty-five retail cannabis stores are currently allowed to operate within the 115,000-person city. According to government data, Waterloo had an unemployment rate of 5.3% in 2016, one of the lowest in Ontario, meaning its citizens have disposable income to spend within the recreational market. Business friendly, with a growing manufacturing sector and two universities, the city is ideal for new businesses that cater to young adults.


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