Welcome to the new era of cannabis. A time filled with uncertainty and product shortages. I hope you didn’t delete your dealer’s phone number, because this week has been mired by the much-anticipated product shortages across the country.
In any case, it feels nice to smoke a joint without looking over your shoulder. Here are the top cannabis news stories this week,
While most provinces are using some form of publically-owned online delivery service for cannabis, the Ontario Cannabis Store is claiming it has surpassed other provinces by far.
In a release put out by the OCS this week, they said they have received over 150,000 orders through their online store. This is allegedly more than the rest of the country has received combined.
“The OCS website has functioned well and has been able to process more than 150,000 orders since the federal government’s legalization of cannabis,” said the OCS in a release. “Ontario received more orders for cannabis online in the first 24 hours then all other provinces combined, according to publicly released figures. Despite this, OCS has adequate product supply to fulfill these orders, and continues to receive supply on a regular basis.”
While some have reported that orders have been filled, many who ordered in the first few hours of legalization (news round-up writers included) have not received their orders.
Quebec, like most, received a rush of sales for legalization. Lines persisted outside of their Montreal store for days, consumers snatched up what they could, and the new provincial government postured about potential regulation changes (none of them very fun).
Now, while the dust has begun to settle, the SQDC, Quebec’s body for controlling cannabis sales has issued a statement saying they expect product shortages to last for weeks, potentially months.
“The excitement of the early days created pressure on our sales network, and the level of preparation of the SQDC made it possible to cross the first days without any particular incident,” the SQDC said, in a statement translated by Google. “There are 53,300 online transactions and 84,850 transactions in the branch network, for a total of 138,150 for the first week of operation.
“As in all Canadian jurisdictions, the SQDC is currently experiencing significant supply issues. The limited supply from suppliers and the limits of the production cycle cause, as expected, a scarcity of products offered in branch and online. We expect this situation to continue at different levels for the first quarters of operation.
“The SQDC works with its suppliers to minimize the impact on customers, but in the current state of affairs maintaining the branch network will be a challenge. ”
The SQDC opened three outlets in Montreal last Wednesday. Their current plans are to open an additional 160 stores across the province in the next two years. They’ll need those extra stores sooner rather than later if demand persists because the line-ups lasted well over the weekend.
The three shops in Montreal, Ste. Catherine West, L’Acadie and Rosemont-Petite-Patrie, have thus been constantly busy and in the case of the downtown location, the store’s 9 pm closing time has seen customers locked out before ever setting foot indoors.
Since the weekend sales have decliend quickly.
In the first five days of legal cannabis sales, from legalization day Wednesday, October 17 until close on Sunday, October 21, Alcanna’s five NOVA Cannabis stores received a combined revenue of approximately $1.3 million. Given that all five stores experienced line-ups from opening at 10 am until closing at 10 pm each of the 5 days, and thus were operating at essentially full capacity, results per store were relatively consistent at all locations.
“Basket size” (the average dollar amount of each transaction) was 2-3 times that of an average Liquor Depot. Over the five days Alcanna processed approximately 17,000 separate transactions and sold approximately 68,000 individual SKU’s.
Sales were heavily weighted towards dried cannabis flower, with strains high in THC being the most popular.