Toronto Passes 200 Cannabis Stores
For those of you from the Six thinking you're seeing a lot more cannabis stores around. You are in fact correct, the number of cannabis stores has more than doubled in the past year. Averaging roughly 12 new stores each month, there are now over 200 stores in the city which is an impressive feat. These stores can be found everywhere, except for Scarborough which is still void of any kind of cannabis stores.
As expected, cannabis sales have followed the exponential increase in store count. With Toronto leading all Canadian cities with $47.3M in sales in September, 2021. This is even more impressive when you compare with total province sales of British Columbia ($49.2M) and Quebec ($51.3M).
With this rapid growth does come concern by some in the industry. Particularly the Cannabis stores which have to compete with this increasingly competitive market. So far it doesn't seem oversaturated, however some retailers are calling on a license moratorium to allow time to assess the implications of bringing on the sheer volume of stores that have come online this past year. This would be similar to the moratorium put in place on alcohol retailing for a number of years after prohibition.
As of now the City of Toronto has no plans to freeze and or limit new licenses, and hopes that competition will help keep prices low for the consumer. But we know consumers aren't only interested in price as a deciding factor of which store to choose.
So What Makes A Great Cannabis Store?
Good question, there are a few things that a top notch cannabis store has going for it. Lets break them down into 4 points:
1) Location- easy location to find with a close proximity to public transit and shops (munchies in particular). It should be located on main streets as opposed to side streets or down alley ways for easy access
2) The vibe- make sure your usual spot has got a good vibe when you're there. You want this to be an enjoyable experience. Although people will give different weights to each, a couple of the main factors are: staff, store design, patrons and overall experience.
3) Staff- Having knowledgeable staff is another must, particularly when it comes to the customer experience. As more and more people are purchasing cannabis for recreational use, they have no idea what works or how to use it properly. For starters, you want your menu on InstaLeaf so you can help potential customers view basic details and read up on reviews from other like minded canna enthusiasts prior to purchase. Then once in the store the onus falls on the owner to hire appropriate candidates who can give customers great advice which follow the regulations and help customers find their ideal products.
4) Product Selection- Make sure they have a large variety of products. For many stores across Canada you can view the menu on the InstaLeaf platform to see what is in stock. Whether it's flower, concentrates, topicals, edibles or beverages the more choice you have the more likely you are to finding the product that is right for you.
Regardless of who ends up being successful among these new entrants, Toronto can rest assured it is home to Canada's highest number of storefront cannabis shops. If anything this trend should continue and we can expect 2022 to bring even more of the green to not only the Six but all across the Great White North.
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