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Join us for a Cannabis Professional discussion on the key challenges facing recreational cannabis retailers with special guest James Burns, CEO of Alcanna, parent of Nova Cannabis and Liquor Depot.

Thursday, August 29:
  • 1:00-1:10 p.m. EST: Moderated discussion with Jameson Berkow and James Burns
  • 1:10-1:45 p.m. EST: Q&A from the audience

Key challenges facing recreational cannabis retailers: How did we get here and when will it end?

Fresh Statistics Canada retail data released on Friday appear to confirm the obvious: more cannabis stores means more cannabis sales.

Provinces such as Alberta and Saskatchewan that have a relatively high number of legal dispensaries are reporting higher per capita spending. Ontario and Quebec lag behind. Ontario held its second retail lottery last week; the 42 individuals and firms selected in the draw now have the opportunity to apply for a cannabis retail license.

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The lottery was used for the purpose of allocating licenses while maintaining an overall cap on licences. However, it has drawn criticism after producing unusual clusters of winners across the province, raising questions of fairness.

James will address some of the key challenges facing recreational cannabis retailers, such as:
  • Navigating regulations and where the red tape is the thickest;
  • Predicting when the market will start to show signs of maturity;
  • Ontario’s retail lottery: how did we get here and when will it end?;
  • Differences between typical cannabis and alcohol consumers

James and Jameson will also take your questions. Please e-mail your questions to us: ROBCannabisPro@globeandmail.com.

Join the conversation:

James Burns, Vice Chair and CEO, Alcanna:
  • Mr. Burns joined the board in June, 2017. He is a former private equity investor and Partner at Gordon Investment Corporation and Gordon Capital Corporation based in Toronto, Ontario where he was responsible for the investments including: Specialty Equipment Ltd., Sound Warehouse Inc., Empire Realty Credit Corp., ConCap Equities Inc., Windmill Bakeries, and Shepherd Manufacturing Ltd. Previously, Mr. Burns has served as Managing Director at CIBC Wood Gundy and co-owner, director and CFO of Scott’s Restaurants and Prizm Brandz. Mr. Burns spent 12 years in federal politics and government in many roles including chief of staff to the deputy prime minister of Canada and chair of the chiefs of staff.
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