Canada’s largest cannabis company enters crowded Alberta retail scene

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Its Alberta flagship store, he said, will serve customers on Edmonton’s Whyte Avenue.

Those outlets help push the number of cannabis stores in Calgary to 127 — more than any other city in Canada — and 516 in Alberta, which has about half of all pot shops in the country.

Some players in the cannabis industry in the province and elsewhere in Canada have been contracting in recent months in the face of underwhelming revenues and premature expansion.

Canopy Growth hasn’t been immune to some of those challenges and has seen its stock value tumble significantly this year.

Caton said he’s confident the consumer base has increased since recreational use of the drug was legalized in October 2018, and that the fortunes of his company and the industry will turn.

Much of that, he said, is driven by a steadily widening variety of products beyond the smokable flower that many Canadians still spurn, with Canopy banking on a line of THC and CBD-infused beverages.

“The cannabis industry has a lot of opportunity and (consumers) want to go into the bricks and mortar outlets,” he said.

James Greenwood, shop manager of Tweed, the new weed store owned by Canopy Growth that opens Friday in Royal Oak in Calgary on Thursday, August 27, 2020. Photo by Darren Makowichuk/Postmedia

Canopy is one of the few players that’s vertically integrated — both producing products and marketing them in its own stores.

Caton said about 50 per cent of its Alberta outlets’ inventory will be self-produced.

Canopy’s debut continues the trend to more access and variety for Alberta consumers, said Nathan Mison, chairman of the Alberta Cannabis Council.

And the company will enter a retail fray that’s become a centre of storefront rivalry, he said.

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