Alberta is suspending applications for new weed stores, and offering refunds to hopeful business owners, as product shortages are expected to drag out for at least several months.
The Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis Commission (AGLC) announced Wednesday it has only received 20 per cent of the cannabis it ordered from licensed producers, leading to continued shortages for its own online store and in the few retail stores that are already open.
“While some licensed producers have fulfilled their commitments, not all have. We continue to work with them to fill stock. Unfortunately, regardless of our efforts, we are seeing the supply of most products run out,” AGLC president and CEO Alan Maisonneuve said in a statement.
He added that the commission’s efforts to secure additional product — including contacting all producers with federal licences to sell cannabis — have been unsuccessful due to a national shortage.
“We will continue to allocate the majority of our scarce inventory to private retailers. We will still maintain some online product to allow consumers in communities where there are not any retail stores to purchase online.”
It isn’t clear yet when the supply issues will be resolved. Estimates by the AGLC and licensed producers suggest it could take between three and 18 months to be fully resolved, according to AGLC spokesperson Chara Goodings.