Hopeful cannabis retailers are scrambling for a chance to open stores in Calgary, but there are fears many will not survive in what may become a crowded market. Brandon Lau, a Calgary commercial real estate agent who has facilitated leasing deals for 18 proposed cannabis shops in Alberta, said he expects a David-versus-Goliath battle will unfold between small and large retailers. “You can clearly see who has a stronghold and who is coming very well-heeled to the table with their A-game, versus some of the people who don’t understand what they’re up against,” said Lau, of Avenue Commercial. “Sometimes it’s the Goliath that I find that just might have the advantage over someone who may not have the experience in setting up and running businesses.” A report released Wednesday by the professional services firm Ernst and Young suggests many retailers face a steep learning curve to rise above the pack and compete in the rough and tumble of retail. It says retailers have the chance to become household names, but they will have to build their brands while addressing any community resistance and attempting to change the public image of pot. David versus Goliath battle expected in cannabis retail

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