Alcanna Inc., operators of over 225 retail operations selling wine, beer, and spirits in Canada and the United States, made big news that it was moving into the cannabis industry, announcing that it was opening 5 cannabis retailers, with a plan for 37 across Alberta. Following cannabis commerce going legal in Canada on October 17th, Alcanna’s NOVA cannabis stores have seen heavy demand, outpacing its alcohol sales. Aided by the fact that there are only 2 retail outlets open in Calgary and 15 total across Alberta, there have been long lines of people eager to purchase legal cannabis, as The GrowthOp reported after talking with Alcanna’s CEO James Burns:
Revenue from those pot sales — totaling $1.3 million from its five Nova Cannabis stores in the first five days of legalization — left its alcohol figures in the haze, said Burns.
The average dollar amount for each cannabis transaction is two to three times that seen in Alcanna’s Liquor Depot stores, he said.
And the difference in dollars generated per square foot of floor space is “stratospheric,” he added.
We’ll see whether Canadian cannabis sales cool off over time, but legal states in the U.S. have found sales outpacing projections, with record revenue numbers occurring years later. Alcohol sales have been hurt a bit by legal cannabis, medical or adult-use, motivating some wise alcohol companies to join the marijuana market. Over time, as cannabis moves more mainstream, we’ll likely see the industry grow, garnering a bigger and bigger market share from alcohol, as the stigma declines more and more consumers choose to make the safer choice.