Canadian marijuana producers form co-op to sell rec products

A dozen of Canada’s largest marijuana producers have come together to form the Canadian Cannabis Co-op and are offering to bankroll a “turn-key” retail network in Alberta to sell adult-use products alongside private retailers and government-run outlets.

The group, which unveiled its plans in a news release, hopes to extend the initiative to other provinces.

In their news release, the companies said Alberta could benefit from the direct investment of tens of millions of dollars to set up the infrastructure to sell recreational marijuana starting next summer.

The group said it would create more than 500 “near-term” jobs and provide over 30 million Canadian dollars ($24 million) in annual wages.

Alberta released its regulatory framework Wednesday, leaving open the door to private retailers. The province is weighing two retail options:

  • A government-run monopoly, which would involve significant up-front costs for taxpayers.
  • Licensed private outlets, which would be separate from alcohol stores.

By contrast, OntarioQuebec and New Brunswick have unveiled plans to use government-owned corporations to operate the retail side of the rec business.

In their news release, the businesses said their co-op model requires no taxpayer dollars, generates a revenue stream for government above direct taxation, and can be put in place by next July 1.

The Canadian Cannabis Co-op includes ABCann, Aphria, Bonify, CannTrust, Cronos Group, Emblem, Emerald, Hydropothecary, MedReleaf, Newstrike (Parent Company of Up Cannabis), Organigram and Tilray.

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