Although the BCGEU strike action was halted over two weeks ago and on September 7, the union announced it had reached a tentative agreement with the PSA (Public Service Agency), reverberations from the strike may affect retail BC cannabis licensees for months to come.
In late August, Global News reported the strike had forced many cannabis store closures and layoffs. Over 50 cannabis stores in BC either shut their doors or reduce hours. Many employees were laid off and some had to take other work immediately. In the current climate of worker shortages, stores could have trouble attracting new employees.
The lack of legal cannabis supply may also have given a boost to the illegal market who are already in competition with legal BC cannabis stores. How much market share has been siphoned away from already struggling legal non-medical cannabis retailers is difficult to know.
The BCGEU strike could not have come at a worse time. Many businesses were just beginning to recover from the financial strain caused by the pandemic. If COVID-19 wasn’t enough for BC’s relatively new cannabis industry, skyrocketing inflation has caused further damage.
In a perfect world, the government would have provided a safety net for businesses affected, or some form of post-strike remediation for businesses that were caught in the crossfire between the BCGEU and PSA.
If you are starting a retail cannabis business in BC or already running a store, the cannabis consultants at Thrive can set you up for success. Thrive provides cannabis license application services and cannabis retail strategic planning. We do the heavy lifting, so you can do what you do best: run your business.Book a Free 30-Minute Consultation Today!