Long lines outside retail cannabis shops in the first weeks of legalization in Canada led to millions of dollars in sales for the burgeoning businesses.
Numbers released by Statistics Canada show Canadians spent $43 million at cannabis outlets in October.
“It was crazy, it was fun,” said Chris Felgate, who owns Small Town Buds with his wife Nicole in Devon, Alta.
Watch below: (From Oct. 17, 2018) On the first day recreational marijuana was legal in Canada, people in Alberta’s Capital Region lined up to buy pot at stores all around the Edmonton area. Fletcher Kent reports.
He said he remembers customers waiting upwards of three hours in line outside the store before they were even able to get in the front door at their store on opening day. The lines are long gone but business has remained steady.
“Every day, sales are pretty much the same as the day before,” Chris said. “It’s getting to the point where we can do real forecasting to realize what our sales are going to look like going forward.”
“We’re just getting started,” Nicole added.
“It’s a new industry, and this year is going to be even better than last year.”
The sales surge wasn’t confined to stores offering legal weed.
“Business did increase, I’d say a good 20 or 30 per cent, after legalization,” said Colin Rogucki, the owner of Shell Shock in Edmonton, a series of stores offering cannabis supplies like bongs and pipes.
Rogucki added that legalization has led to a big shift in how Canadians approach the product, and that has led to an entirely new clientele.
“There’s a lot of questions, and there’s fun questions, because these are people that are going to smoke for recreation, or more for fun, rather than trying to hide it,” he said.
Legalization hasn’t been without its challenges. The AGLC has frozen all new retail applications in Alberta as the province deals with supply shortages.
Watch below: (From November 2018) Those in Alberta who are waiting for a licence to sell pot won’t be getting one any time soon. As Quinn Ohler explains, the reason for that has to do with a marijuana supply shortage.