Can two cannabis stores survive here?

Published on January 14, 2021 by David Wylie

Dutch Love is open on Main Street in Lake Country.

Is Lake Country big enough to support more than one cannabis store?

The answer is nuanced.

There are currently two legal cannabis stores open. Lake Country Cannabis and Dutch Love are currently serving the community, which has a population of about 15,000 people.

However, there is also an unlicensed store that’s been operating for more about two years.

Harrison Stoker, vice-president at Donnelly Group (Dutch Love’s parent company), told the oz. that the illicit market is really the legal industry’s collective competitor.

“We’ve got a really peer in market with Lake Country Cannabis,” he says. “In British Columbia, specifically, we don’t really look to our regulated retail peers as competitors yet.”

He says the answer to whether multiple stores can survive comes down to how quickly British Columbia – “culturally and from a policy perspective” – can translate the illicit market into the regulated market.

“Right now, it’s moving at a snail’s pace,” he says.

“Today, one might argue that there isn’t enough business, but we need to work together to translate the illicit market into the regulated market. There certainly is enough business in the case that people are accessing cannabis through the regulated market—absolutely there is enough business.”

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