Ontario Cannabis Store Sees Continued Sales Spike

The Ontario Cannabis Store is seeing a 600% spike in pot sales amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The COVID-19 pandemic prompted governments worldwide to enact lockdown laws in order to mitigate the spread of the virus. As a result of the imminent lockdowns, stockpiling behaviours occurred, and people began to hoard food, toilet paper, and of course, cannabis.

Dispensaries in America saw cannabis sales increases as large as 159%, with people panic-buying pot like never before, showing that cannabis would play an intimate role in peoples lives during the lockdown despite recommendations to the contrary.

Though America's cannabis sales increases would pale in comparison to those occurring in the Great White North that is Canada, who have seen their pot purchases increase by as much as 600 per cent since March.

While March's online orders for cannabis from the OCS sat around 2,000 orders per day, they spiked to 6,000 on March 16th when the Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that Canada's border would close. This spike in sales remained consistent, until finally on April 3rd when all but one of Ontario's cannabis dispensaries were given immunity from the shutdown – The Ontario Cannabis Store. As a result of this announcement, orders at the Ontario Cannabis Store spiked to an enormous 13,691 on April 3rd, representing even more extreme stockpiling behaviour.

The designation that Ontario's dispensaries weren't "essential" was a deviation from the US, who declared all cannabis stores would remain open, and as such, a public outcry emerged and prompted government officials to reopen Ontario dispensaries just a few days later.

Now here's the interesting part. While one would expect the reopening of Canada's cannabis dispensaries to reduce this surge in cannabis sales, it hasn't – at least not entirely.

Two weeks after April 3rd, daily sales at the Ontario Cannabis Store have stabilised around the 9,000 level, 4.5 times what they were just last month.

"It's going to stabilize, but I don't think we're going to be going back to 2,300 orders a day," Cheri Mara, the Chief Commercial Officer of the Ontario Cannabis Store told Bloomberg.

To borrow an old saying: the toothpaste is out of the tube. Cheri Mara, Chief Commercial Officer of the Ontario Cannabis Store

"I really do believe we're setting a new baseline in terms of behaviour," Mara continued. "Cannabis, like many other goods, is becoming habitual in terms of a purchase pattern." 

Similarly, Aphria Inc. informed its investors on Wednesday that the company's Canadian cannabis sales jumped 65% in its most recent quarter.

Aphria's CEO, Carl Merton stated that "Quebec is proving a bright spot thus far, with sales at bricks-and-mortar stores up 40% and e-commerce sales ballooning 200% since the pandemic-related restrictions went into effect."

Though it's not all sunshine and rainbows for cannabis companies, with Canopy Growth forced to scale back its operations globally, and Aurora Cannabis on the brink of being kicked off of the NYSE – COVID-19 has certainly imposed a toll on the cannabis industry at large.

With 4/20 just around the corner and no foreseeable end to the lockdowns, could the number of cannabis consumers continue to snowball amid the coronavirus pandemic?


This pot stock could reach new heights in 2020 due to Coronavirus

The COVID-19 pandemic is showing no signs of slowing down, and as global markets enter meltdown many cannabis companies are feeling the effects of capital crunch.

While the market crash will continue for some time, it represents a golden opportunity for investors who are capable of riding out the volatility until share prices rally.

Luckily, one pot stock has developed antimicrobial drug that can already treat two superbugs while limiting their ability to develop antibiotic resistance.

Investors can also start picking up shares at rock bottom prices, as global investor sentiment continues to dampen thanks to COVID-19.

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Louis O'Neill
Louis O'Neill

Louis is a writer based in Sydney with a focus on social and political issues. Having interviewed local politicians and entrepreneurs, Louis now focuses on cannabis culture, legislation & reform.

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