Fire & Flower (FAF.T) Ontario expansion plans include eight stores in Ottawa and Kingston

03/02/2020

Fire & Flower (FAF.T) announced their Ontario expansion plans, including acquisitions of stores in Ottawa and Kingston, today.

Part of the company’s Ontario expansion plans included receiving its retail operators license from the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO), which it did today, and getting some applications submitted to the same organization for retail store authorizations for eight other stores in Ontario.

“Ontario is a key strategic priority for Fire & Flower and our receipt of a Retail Operator Licence and submission of Retail Store Authorizations for eight locations is a clear demonstration of our focus on this market. By completing the acquisition of both the Ottawa and Kingston locations, Fire & Flower anticipates strengthening its financial position and operating income from these high performing stores,” said Trevor Fencott, chief executive officer of Fire & Flower.

The design for the proposed eight stores has been finished, and construction will start shortly after the company completes the required regulatory inspections and approvals. Store locations, opening dates and times of these eight stores will be announced on the company’s website. These eight stores combined with what the company has previously in Ottawa and Kingston are the most number of RSA applications that the AGCO allows right now.

“We see Fire & Flower as our vector of growth in the cannabis sector and since our investment in the company more than six months ago, we have continued to support their ongoing expansion and operational focus. We are very excited with the acquisition of the Ottawa and Kingston location and look forward to Fire & Flower’s expansion in Ontario and solidifying their position as the leader in cannabis retailing,” said Jeremy Bergeron, Vice President, Alternative Channels of Alimentation Couche-Tard.

Ottawa and Kingston expansions

Fire & Flower has closed the acquisitions of both the Ottawa and Kingston branded stores, operated under license to two Ontario cannabis store license holders. These stores come with established relationships with their customers and add $16.5 million in sales to date, which will henceforth be added to the company’s revenue sheet.

“The successful launch of the Kingston store would not have been possible without the expertise of the Fire & Flower team and they have been tremendous partners to work alongside in the successful operation of this store for nearly a year. Fire & Flower is a leader in the cannabis retail industry, and I wish them the very best as they expand their brand across Ontario,” said Long, initial licence holder and operator of Fire & Flower – Kingston Brock Street Cannabis.

Last year cannabis retailers in Ontario outsold every province in Canada, even though there was only one online store and 24 brick and mortar stores in operation for most of that period, according to Statistics Canada data.

Ontario pulled in $217 million in recreational cannabis sales—or %24 of the overall Canadian market—from October 2018 to September 2019. The numbers were followed closely by Alberta and Quebec, which accounted or $196 million and $195 million respectively.

Now that the province of Ontario has eliminated the lottery system, the numbers for cannabis revenue for companies operating in Ontario should be interesting to see.

—Joseph Morton

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