Cannabis store coming to Gatineau by the summer

Quebec's cannabis authority is planning to open a store in Gatineau by the summer, despite supply problems putting the brakes on its wider expansion plans.

Three new stores to open by the summer despite ongoing supply issues

A look inside an SQDC store in Montreal. The agency said it plans to open three more recreational cannabis stores by the summer, including one in Gatineau. (Benjamin Shingler/CBC)

Quebec's cannabis authority is planning to open a store in Gatineau by the summer, despite supply problems putting the brakes on its wider expansion plans. 

The Société Québécoise du Cannabis (SQDC) says it expects to open three new locations by the middle of 2019, including shops in unspecified locations in Brossard, Joliette and Gatineau. 

The province's original plan was to have a Gatineau store by the end of 2018. but the new CAQ government paused those plans after its election.

The news of these 3 new shops comes as the SQDC downgraded its expectations for provincial expansion.

The agency now says it will have 40 points of sale by March 2020, falling 20 per cent short of the 50 locations first mentioned in the original plan. 

There are currently 12 stores open.

"We've put [the expansion plans] a little on ice," said SQDC President Jean-François Bergeron in a French-language interview with The Canadian Press. 

Shortly after recreational cannabis was legalized on Oct. 17, stock ran thin at brick-and-mortar stores — mirroring reported shortages in other parts of the country — causing many of Quebec's locations to reduce their operating hours. 

"I think it's better for customers to have a larger network four days a week than a seven-day network," Bergeron said.

"When branches are open, it's easier to gradually add a day of operation."​