Canada’s Retailers Are Watching Around the Clock To Pick Up Fresh Supply Amid Cannabis Shortages

What’s Canada’s hottest new cannabis job? Page refresher. 

"That's a job now," Torsten Kuenzlen - CEO of the Alberta-based cannabis grower Sundial - said earlier this month at the Marijuana Business Daily conference in Las Vegas. "There are people sitting at a computer, hitting a refresh screen just so they can buy up the first item that becomes available when the distributor’s website updates its inventory."

That's because the country's marijuana supply is so scarce that many retailers are watching their distributor's website 24/7 in hopes of snatching up some badly-needed inventory.

National Access Cannabis Corp. - Canada’s largest private retailer in charge of 17 stores - told the Financial Post that they have a team of five that regularly checks in at all hours with Alberta’s provincial regulators in charge of wholesale pot distribution.

"At 3:30 in the morning, all of a sudden $4,000 worth of inventory is made available, yet in seven minutes it’s drawn down, meaning that other big competitors are doing the same thing," said Mark Goliger - Chief Executive Officer of NAC.

Goliger also said that these problems have disrupted their plans to expand as part of their joint venture with coffee retailer Second Cup Ltd.

"We have employees that were set to open those stores, so we have HR costs, and then carrying costs of leases, where stores are going to be sitting dark although the construction is complete and they could be making revenue," he said.

This is just further evidence of the continuing issue of supply that Canada has faced since legalizing cannabis last month. Shortages have plagued every province, leading to Quebec’s decision to restrict its stores' hours to just four days a week, and Alberta’s move to temporarily halt new retail licenses entirely, as well as affecting both private and public retailers across the country. 

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