(Gatineau) The big boss of Hexo says a “price war” has taken shape in the past five months, which could cause “significant” damage to the Canadian cannabis industry.

According to Charlie Bowman, many smaller, independent cannabis retailers are “bleeding” due to the higher number of rivals and their tendency to always want to offer a better deal.

He said the industry’s pricing issues have been compounded by the illicit market, which Bowman said has seen “fantastic” growth this year, challenging licensed cannabis producers.

Bowman hopes the Ontario Cannabis Corporation’s plan to cut margins later this year will help licensed producers capture share from the illicit market.

The provincial cannabis distributor’s decision is expected to put $35 million in the hands of licensed cannabis businesses this fiscal year and $60 million in fiscal year 2024.

According to calculations by the Ontario Cannabis Society, the illicit market accounted for 43% of the cannabis market in Ontario last March.