Shopping Centers Today

NOV 2018

Shopping Centers Today is the news magazine of the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC)

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48 S C T / N O V E M B E R 2 0 1 8 T he cannabis business is smoking in Canada. Case in point: Constellation Brands, producer of Corona, Modelo and other beers as well as several brands of wines and spirits, invested some $4 billion in Ontario-based pot producer Canopy Growth Corp. in August. Constellation Brands did this ahead of last month's legalization of recreational sales of marijuana in Canada. Edmonton-based Aurora Cannabis Inc. is, like Canopy Growth, an established marijuana producer and public company and has similarly been angling for a share of the retail market. Aurora made a strategic move of its own in February, buying a stake in Edmonton-based Liquor Stores N.A., an operator of some 200 retail outlets across Canada and Alaska. Then in May, Aurora boosted that stake to about 25 percent. The resulting entity has since been renamed Alcanna Inc., and its goal is to open cannabis stores across Canada under the Aurora name. (Liquor stores are not permitted to sell cannabis, so the pot outlets have to remain separate.) The national government is leav- ing actual implementation of these marijuana sales to the provinces, thus allowing for further regulation by the local municipalities. As a result, different strategies have been put into effect, observes Susan Thompson, a Canada's legalization of recreational cannabis sales in October has opened a new frontier of opportunity for retailers and landlords By Steve Bergsman S I T E S & C I T I E S W H E R E R E TA I L D E V E LO P M E N T I S H OT Out of the shadows research manager in the Calgary office of Avison Young. These range from province-controlled sales in Québec, to mixed government-private sales in numerous provinces, to a full commit- ment to private-sector sales in Alberta and elsewhere. "Alberta is the gold standard for the private market and has been the focus of much of the investment and licens- ing dollars put into play in this indus- try," said Dan Rowland, a Denver- based consultant who has been work- ing with Calgary-based 420 Advisory Management, part of the 420 Premium Market umbrella, which plans to be a major player in these sales. Neighboring Saskatchewan is, like Alberta, similarly committed to the private sector, but the former is less populated, and fewer than 60 retail permits were allotted there. British Columbia will offer a mix of private- and gov- ernment-run stores. Eventually, all eyes will turn to the most populated Canadian province: Ontario — which had originally decided for province-run stores, but then opted to include pri- vate-sector retailers as well. Private-sector stores will not be introduced in Ontario until next April, according to Eric Berard, a Toronto-based senior associate with Avison Young and an adviser to Calgary's High Tide Ventures Inc., which plans to expand into Ontario, operating as Canna Cabana. "Based on Ontario's population, we could see 500 to 600 licenses given out in the first tranche," said Berard. "Canna Cabana fully plans to hit the maximum allotment if there is a limit, similar to the 15 percent cap achieved in Alberta." Meanwhile, the major action has been in Alberta, home to two of Canada's largest cities — Calgary and Edmonton — and indeed, for a while the province did look like a real estate version of the Yukon's Klondike Gold Rush of the late 1890s. "There definitely was a land rush," said Hani Abdelkader, a Calgary-based vice president of retail services with Avison Young. "There was a point

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