Article by Eric Volkman, Motley Fool
In less than two years after the country legalized recreational cannabis, Canada has reached an important milestone. According to a report in BNN Bloomberg, the country’s dispensary count crossed the 1,000 mark as of July 17, landing at 1,010.
Of all the country’s provinces and territories, Alberta in the West has the highest number, at 494. No. 2 is the province where some of the highest-quality Canadian cannabis has traditionally come from, British Columbia (211 dispensaries).
Due to an ineffective licensing policy in the early days of legalization, the most populous province, Ontario (which also happens to be the home of the capital, Ottawa, and largest city, Toronto) has only 115 marijuana stores. Somewhat incongruously, some of the highest-profile cannabis companies on the stock market are headquartered in the province, including Canopy Growth (NYSE:CGC) and Cronos Group (NASDAQ:CRON).
Ontario’s neighbor Quebec is also light on the dispensary count, with only 43 licensed cannabis stores.
The total number of Canadian dispensaries is set to grow sharply, with the proportions changing quite a bit. 496 dispensaries in Ontario have yet to receive their full licenses from the province, while some industry observers believe that the Alberta retail market is currently saturated and due for rationalization.