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HIGHLIGHTS
  1. AGLC to issue 10 retail licences a week, up from the current five.
  2. Alberta has granted 136 retail cannabis licences, far above any other province
  3. AGLC says will continue to monitor cannabis supplies

Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis (AGLC) has doubled the number of retail cannabis licences it will issue each week to 10 as the provincial agency and wholesaler “continues to actively monitor” pot supplies, a spokesperson said.

This weekly increase comes after AGLC lifted its pseudo-moratorium on new retail licences on May 30, due to improved cannabis supplies. It placed a freeze on new licences last November, when the national shortage of legal cannabis meant many licensed stores were running out of supplies between weekly deliveries.

Last month, AGLC said it would start issuing new permits at the rate of five per week and, at that time, it already had 115 approved applications that had been submitted prior to the moratorium.

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“We have continued to see an increase in supply so feel comfortable with issuing more licences,” AGLC spokeswoman Angelle Sasseville said in an email.

“We continue to monitor week by week, it is fully dependent on supply.”

The move comes after AGLC – Alberta’s retail cannabis regulator and only pot wholesaler – nearly doubled the number of licensed producers (LPs) with which it has supply contracts to 29, from just 15 last year. The increased speed in licence distribution likely signals the combination of improved output by LPs as well as more federal cultivation licences being granted.

At the time of publication, the AGLC website showed 136 pot stores have been issued retail licences, nine more than the 127 that were posted early in the morning.

“We moved to 10 per week and will continue to monitor,” Ms. Sasseville said.

“The number of licences can continue to fluctuate – all dependent on supply.”

Alberta already has more pot shops than any other province due to privatization, and it is on track to have more than 200 retail cannabis stores open in time to benefit from the expanding industry that is expected to sell edible and concentrated products later this year when they are slated to be legalized.

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The number of licensed adult-use marijuana stores in Alberta is expected to rise even further as more applications are approved. There is no maximum placed on the number of total cannabis stores in the province, but a single company cannot hold more than 15 per cent of all licences in Alberta.

Meanwhile in Ontario, Canada’s biggest market by far, fewer than 25 have opened as the government there limits the number of available licences that were distributed via a lottery.

Improved pot supplies spur AGLC to lift retail moratorium

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