With the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown behind us now (hopefully) most retail cannabis shops have now been able to resume normal operations. Despite most being open providing mail order marijuana services and curb side pick-up, cannabis shops have seen their business greatly diminish since a surge of sales in early March. After the initial stockpiling of all goods, including weed, prior to going into lockdown, retail cannabis shops experienced a significant decrease in sales until the recent easing of social restrictions.
A number of retail shops in downtown Toronto, who had previously relied heavily on tourism and local residents leaving their homes to frequent their stores, stated the shut down had affected their sales upwards of 50% during the latter half of March and for all of April when they were allowed to reopen for delivery and curb side service. This was due to a number of factors such as their unwillingness to accept cash transactions due to safety protocols and the inability and reluctance of clients to switch to electronic payments. On the other hand, businesses specializing in mail order marijuana services and online marijuana dispensaries saw an increase in sales at the onset of the shutdown with a steady increase since.
Mail order marijuana websites and online marijuana dispensaries were able to rely upon their existing sales platforms and continue to provide a myriad of products while expanding their catalogue of goods. They were easily able to process sales and shipments directly from their warehouses with little disruption to their services unlike retail cannabis shops which were forced to adapt to new forms of service within the retail store itself with little or no planning. They reported that stock was often an issue as was the ability to properly convey available and variety of products. Unlike mail order marijuana outlets and warehouses that service clients who buy cannabis online in Canada, they already had shipping materials on hand while retail outlets needed to scramble to find proper shipping supplies and set up a network to get their goods out.
Speaking to the best online dispensary in Canada, they are unsure if this uptick in sales is here to stay or if it is just a result of the pandemic lockdown. Sales have stabilized yet people are still very much staying at home and venturing out only when necessary. Boredom is certainly a factor as one can only drink so much alcohol in a day and with the changing of the seasons and the weather cooling down, this trend may continue.
Nevertheless, with retails stores opening, a segment of the clientele who did not want to, but was forced to buy weed online, should return as should those first-time curiosity shoppers. Mail order marijuana outlets and online marijuana dispensaries should find they retain many of the clients they picked up during the pandemic due to the convenience of the service they offer as well as the clients who turned from other vices such as alcohol to cannabis as they may have discovered a cannabis high is cheaper than an alcoholic binge and does not come with a hangover the next day. Only time will tell.