October 24, 2019, Calgary, Alberta - Exactly a year ago, Calgary Co-op opened the doors of our first Cannabis store on Macleod Trail SE, excited about the new venture and – like any business backers – anxiously hopeful it would be success. Twelve months later, we are pleased to report that business has been solid at our first store and we have opened four more (soon five) stores to serve our community.
“Overall, our membership has been very receptive to our line of business, both from a shopping perspective and an alignment perspective. We know our community trusts us to do this right,” says Jeff Ambrose who oversees the new division as Vice President, Petroleum, Wine Spirits Beer, Home Health Care, and Cannabis. “It’s been very exciting to be involved in the Canadian Cannabis industry – especially as a co-operative business. It’s similar to the foray we made into the liquor business when the Alberta Government privatized some 25 years ago.”
Over the past year, Calgary Co-op has taken care to thoughtfully grow the Cannabis business - building, staffing and opening five more stores by the end of this year (Brentwood, Forest Lawn, Richmond Rd, Dalhousie and Oakridge) to meet the needs of members. The pace of development was slowed somewhat by supply shortages over the initial months of legalization. With those shortages largely resolved, Co-op Cannabis is focusing on the smooth operations of its stores, opening three additional stores by mid next year, employing even more Calgarians and helping our members understand the edibles market when it opens up in the next few weeks.
While edibles, extracts and topical products are also now legal, it will be some time before you’ll be seeing those products on our shelves. The licencing and notice requirements mean it’s likely late December before we can carry and sell those products.
“As members, we can all feel proud that we are leaders in the co-operative movement, retailing this newly legal product with knowledgeable staff, in bright modern stores, with all the responsibility we’ve developed in selling other regulated products such as liquor, pharmaceuticals and fuel,” says Ambrose. And he also notes that Calgary Co-op’s management team is happy with the contribution this new business is making to Calgary Co-op’s overall earnings.
For more information about Co-op Cannabis please visit www.coopcannabis.com.
About Calgary Co-op
Owned by members, Calgary Co-op is one of the largest retail co-operatives in North America. Our locations in Calgary, Airdrie, Cochrane, High River, Okotoks and Strathmore include: food centres, pharmacies, gas stations, car washes, commercial cardlocks, home health care centres, wine, spirits and beer locations, and cannabis. With over 440,000 members, 3,850 employees, assets of $627 million and annual sales of $1.3 billion, Calgary Co-op was recognized as one of Alberta's Top 75 Employers of 2019, and is committed to delivering an exceptional customer experience through inspired team members.
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For further information, please contact:
Sage Pullen McIntosh, Communications Manager
Office: 403.219.6025 ext. 6105