The retail market has come into focus for a large scale marijuana producer as a new retail experience officially opened at the West Edmonton Mall.

On Wednesday (November 27), Aurora Cannabis (NYSE:ACB,TSX:ACB) confirmed a brand new 11,000 square feet store inside the mall will be directly managed by its retail partner High Tide (CSE:HITI,OTCQB:HITIF)


The agreement oversees the management of inventory, marketing, operations, sales, staffing, training and security related to the store for an initial term of three years, with the option to extend the deal.

“We are committed to enabling an unparalleled retail experience in the stores that we support,” Raj Grover, president and CEO of High Tide, said in a press release.

Shares of High Tide jumped on Wednesday’s trading session following the announcement. As of 2:30 p.m. EST, the company was up 15 percent to a price per share of C$0.23.

In addition to serving as a shop for consumers of marijuana products and accessories, the store is set to offer sessions with artists, chefs, local innovators and experts of the marijuana industry.

Terry Booth, CEO of Aurora, said the new store is a reflection of the values of his company. David Ghermezian, CEO of West Edmonton Mall, said in a statement the mall sees approximately 30 million visitors per year.

Last week, the Retail Council of Canada held a forum to discuss the impact of retail thanks to the emergence of marijuana shops across the country.

Panelists at the event — such as Hilary Smee, vice president of retail infrastructure and strategic projects at Canopy Growth (NYSE:CGC,TSX:WEED) — explained the challenge for retailers of cannabis is piecing together an entirely new retail experience for consumers.

Alberta has positioned itself as a leading province in Canada when it comes to store approvals and openings, while Ontario and British Columbia have struggled to satisfy consumers of the legalized industry with slow roll-outs for their respective retail networks.

The limited selection of stores in Ontario has led to disappointing performance results from some of the biggest marijuana companies, at least according to their leading executives. The CEOs of Canopy Growth and Organigram Holdings (NASDAQ:OGI,TSXV:OGI) have placed the blame on the poor results their respective firms have posted recently on the low number of stores in the province.

In a letter sent at the end of October to Ontario Premier Doug Ford, the Cannabis Council of Canada — an association of marijuana licensed producers — requested for the province to reevaluate its approach to the opening of cannabis stores.

Aurora also has an ownership stake of Alcanna (TSX:CLIQ), an alcohol retailer that manages the Nova Cannabis retail brand.

Don’t forget to follow us @INN_Cannabis for real-time news updates!

Securities Disclosure: I, Bryan Mc Govern, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

Editorial Disclosure: Inner Spirit Holdings and High Tide are clients of the Investing News Network. This article is not paid-for content.

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