While new cultivation facilities are constructed and deals are struck to acquire supply from outside sources, licensed producers in the cannabis industry are also busy setting up storefronts to sell product directly.

Aurora Cannabis (NYSE: ACB) will soon open a shop on the ground floor of the iconic West Edmonton Mall, which will easily become one of the most openly visible stores in the industry since recreational marijuana was legalized last year.

The new Aurora shop is moving into a controversial spot in the Mall that was previously occupied by MyPet. That store closed in 2018 and created headlines when officers from the Edmonton Humane Society took 500 animals from the store following allegations they had been abandoned by the owners.

A television interview with CTV News showed that not everyone is onboard with marijuana storefronts coming to shopping centres, and there are still concerns about cannabis being available in locations with foot traffic from children.

Luke Niforatos, a member of the anti-cannabis legalization group Smart Approaches To Marijuana, had this to say in the CTV interview:

If there are kids congregating in the mall, there absolutely should not be a marijuana shop there. At what point do we say enough is enough? To think that our kids won’t be impacted when they go to this mall and there’s a marijuana shop there. We’re fooling ourselves.

That attitude exists outside of Alberta as well, and is currently a driving force in the CAQ-led Quebec government, where a law is currently being debated to raise the minimum usage age to 21. The provincial government additionally launched an eye-catching advertising campaign earlier this month to warn young people away from marijuana usage.

Despite opposition, more legal stores are continuing to open across the country. The very first legal brick-and-mortar retail stores are currently priming to open on an April 1 deadline in Ontario after 25 companies were chosen by random lottery.

While none of those stores in the first batch of opening are from major licensed producers in the industry, the bigger LPs and their subsidiaries have all been courting lottery winners.

After receiving a $10 million investment from Aurora Cannabis, High Tide (CSE:HITI ) signed letters of intent to help two of those 25 winners construct and operate their stores while acquiring a minority stake in those companies.

High Tide is no stranger to opening storefronts, having recently opened the company’s eighth Canna Cabana store in Beaumont.

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