(This story has been up to date with feedback from a cannabis analyst.)

Ontario’s cannabis store regulator will double the number of stores it licenses per 30 days, signaling quicker development on the horizon for Canada’s largest adult-use marijuana market.

In a late Tuesday announcement, the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) stated it had issued 164 store licenses to date, with 150 shops open.

“At the government’s direction, the AGCO is now moving to double the pace of store authorizations this fall,” in accordance to the company’s announcement.

“The AGCO will soon contact all affected retail store applicants directly to advise them of any change to the timing of the issuance of their store authorizations.”

Beyond specifying “this fall,” the AGCO announcement didn’t clarify precisely when the elevated pace of licensing will take impact.

“I think it still remains to be seen whether or not that doubling applies to September,” stated Omar Yar Khan, nationwide cannabis lead with Toronto consultancy Hill+Knowlton. “I think it might, but if not, I suspect it’ll definitely apply to October.”

AGCO had beforehand dedicated to authorizing roughly 20 new shops per 30 days, which means roughly 40 shops ought to be licensed every month below the new directive.

“I think that there is an opportunity, and I think there is an appetite within the sector, to see that cap lifted even further, perhaps to 75 (store authorizations) a month or even 100 a month,” Khan instructed Marijuana Business Daily.

“The government will need to work with OCS as they work to build up their warehousing capacity,” Khan added.

“But I think folks within the industry and folks who are waiting on their applications would be happy to hear that there is a plan in place to increase the (store) rollout in a responsible way.”

Ontario continues to lag behind different Canadian provinces in opening licensed cannabis shops.

With 164 adult-use cannabis store licenses, Ontario, with a inhabitants of 14.7 million folks, provides roughly 1.1 cannabis store licenses per 100,000 folks.

In distinction, the province of Alberta leads the market in phrases of cannabis shops per capita, with 517 licenses to date or roughly 11.7 licenses per 100,000 folks.

Retail gross sales figures present these uncooked store numbers are driving gross sales of regulated marijuana in Canada.

In June, regulated cannabis gross sales in Alberta have been value CA$46.7 million, a detailed second to Ontario’s CA$48.9 million in gross sales regardless of Alberta’s a lot smaller inhabitants.

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