Cannabis CEO says Ontario’s lack of stores is why the company is losing money

The Ontario government’s inability to develop sufficient retail capacity for cannabis products is forcing Canopy Growth Corp. to revise its fourth-quarter guidance as Canada’s market “is simply not living up to expectations,” says the company’s CEO.

“At the risk of oversimplifying, the inability of the Ontario government to license retail stores, right off the bat, has resulted in half of the expected market in Canada simply not existing,” Mark Zekulin said Thursday on a call with analysts.

Zekulin, who announced in August that he intends to leave Canopy after a permanent replacement is found for him and former co-chief executive Bruce Linton, said the company sees enormous global growth potential but faces difficult conditions in its home market because of a lack of retail outlets in its most populous province.

He added that the company, based in Smiths Falls, Ont., is pleased to see Ontario’s recently announced commitment to move towards an open allocation of retail licences where the number of stores will only be limited by market demand.

“This is a big deal but it cannot come soon enough,” Zekulin said.

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