Prior to the news Ontario would allow REC delivery, many worried about how REC retail would survive, particularly those stores that worked so hard to open but might not reopen without access to the stimulus funds being withheld by the Business Development Bank of Canada.
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- The Laurentian Bank optimistically predicted the last few weeks’ worth of “pantry-loading” should help balance REC stores not being able to operate for two weeks. Though Laurentian also noted 90% of legal REC sales are through physical stores, versus 10% online.
Many also wondered: what about inventory? REC stores bought inventory from the OCS at a 35% markup expecting an increased demand for those products. Shouldn’t they be allowed to return them–particularly since that will help prevent a supply shortage?
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Toronto unlicensed dispensary chain CAFE, remembered for its flagrant refusal to shut down last summer, announced they’ll be remaining open, but argued they were taking plenty of safety precautions.
At Alderville First Nation, as well as at Oneida Nation of the Thames, on-Reserve dispensaries have been ordered shut by Chief and Council. Oneida Nation on Thames banned entry by non-residents, since like many Reserves in Ontario, the Nation attracts visitors from all over with its tax-free gas, cigarettes, and cannabis.
Global News, London Free Press