In a rare piece of good news, the cannabis sector looked healthy for the first time in months as consumers facing isolation and lockdowns flooded into REC stores and provincial websites.
- Alberta and Ontario REC stores reported “unprecedented demand.” REC firm Spiritleaf CEO Darren Bondar said sales were up 20% across the 46 stores in his chain, and “the supply chain remains in place.” (Similar surges are taking place in US legal states.)
MJ Biz Daily
- In BC, REC retailers reported sales are up and customers are buying larger amounts than usual. The provincial wholesaler said it’s working with industry to prevent supply issues, though at the moment there are no delays or impacts to REC.
- The routine lineups at Montreal’s Société Québécoise du Cannabis were a lot bigger over the weekend as locals stocked up on enough cannabis to last them a few weeks at home.
CityNews, CTV News
- At one of the Nova Scotia Liquor Commission’s mixed alcohol/cannabis stores, a CBC reporter noted at 10am when doors opened, 10% of the crowd in line headed for beer, 10% headed for wine and spirits, while 80% headed for the cannabis.
Not everyone wants to get cannabis in person: the Ontario Cannabis Store’s online orders increased by 80% week over week on Saturday, and by 100% on Sunday. The OCS says it has enough inventory to meet demands.
- Demand for legal delivery is also spiking, now that people may want to remain home.. David Clement, of Koch Brothers-affiliated Consumer Choice Center, pointed out only two provinces have (unrestricted) same-day delivery, though alcohol delivery is widely allowed. (Some other provinces are testing same-day delivery, as Ontario has been doing in the Greater Toronto Area.)
MJ Biz Daily, GrowthOp, Twitter–@ClementLiberty
- In response to demand, some areas–including Ontario–are suspending same-day REC shipping and warning deliveries may be delayed.
Naturally, some doomsday-minded people are hoarding cannabis.
Though REC retail sales reports for January showed a continued upward trajectory, this panic-buying sales boost is good news for what Bloomberg called “an industry on the brink,” left staggering after months of decline and poorly positioned for global financial meltdown.