2020 was a trying year for everyone globally and the cannabis industry in Canada did not go untouched. Still very much an emerging industry in this country, flexibility and adaptability were key to survival for local cannabis shops, mail order marijuana depots as well as online marijuana dispensaries. Fortunately, most local cannabis retailers were able to pivot and keep their shops running and employees working during the COVID-19 pandemic by providing curbside pick-up and local delivery while mail order marijuana depots as well as those companies who cater to those who buy marijuana online were able to operate as usual despite some slight hiccups to the supply chain which was experienced by all who relied on third-party courier and delivery services. Nevertheless, many cannabis retailers and companies were still forced to scale back their operations in the hope of maintaining some semblance of profitability.
Maybe it was due to the various lockdowns in Canada that provided cannabis users with the time to do more research or perhaps it was just due to the changing taste that time and experience brings, but local cannabis retailers, mail order marijuana depots and online dispensaries in Canada have found that cannabis users have become increasingly sophisticated in the last year alone. Not only have they found that users have a deeper knowledge of the industry when compared to the year previous, retailers are noting consumers are becoming more and more interested in the way their stores, the brands they carry on their shelves, as well as the producers they buy from operate. Not only has the demand for a quality product has increased, consumers are now also concerned with both the business and social practices behind their favourite brands.
In keeping with consumer tastes and trends, you will find that the cannabis industry will start to offer more refined and targeted products thus catering to the needs of the market. Though flower-based products are still the top sellers of any local cannabis retailer, mail order marijuana depot and online marijuana dispensary, there will be a marked shift towards extract-based products in terms of product variety and availability. In the more mature cannabis market of the United States, non-flower products currently represent more than 50 percent of market share so it is only fitting to presume this trend will move north. As cannabis consumers are demanding higher quality and more competitive pricing, the cannabis industry worldwide is starting to realize that specialization may be the key to success in this ever-changing market—moving forward you will find more “stand out” companies within specific areas offering their wares at a fair price point for a good quality product.
2020 is behind us and 2021 looms large and as with anything new and exciting, 2021 is full of promise. We hope the cannabis industry in Canada will be able to find a solid footing and realize some return for their hard work thus far. The Canadian consumer and COVID-19 have not made it easy by any measure but hopefully with lessons learned, 2021 can be a transformative for all involved.