“Unfortunately, regardless of our efforts, we are seeing the supply of most products run out.”
The province’s need for weed has prompted Alberta Gaming Liquour and Cannabis to deny new applications and withhold retail licences for pot shops amid an ongoing national cannabis crunch.
On Wednesday, the provincial agency responsible for overseeing Alberta’s fledgling legal cannabis industry said ongoing supply shortages have prompted the temporary halt.
Alain Maisonneuve, president and CEO of AGLC, said a nation-wide shortage of recreational weed has impacted Alberta stores that they’d hoped would have enough supply to last for months.
“AGLC ordered enough product to support up to 250 retail stores in the first six months of legalization; however, as of November 17 we have only received approximately 20 per cent of what we had ordered,” he said in a statement.
“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 said it had taken steps to secure more product as looming shortages became apparent, contacting all producers with federal licences to sell cannabis, but were unsuccessful.
Given the shortage, AGLC announced it will temporarily halt accepting new applications as well as freezing additional cannabis retail licences indefinitely. Applicants will be entitled to a full refunding of their fees should the wish to withdraw from the process.
“Our priority is to ensure private Alberta retailers are supported,” Maisonneuve said.
“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.”
He added discussions will continue with licensed producers on production and shipping timelines and the agency will meet with current retailers to discuss the shortage.
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