Marijuana retailers in many parts of the country are reporting a spike in sales as customers stock up ahead of potential sales disruptions during the COVID-19 outbreak.
And they may not be wrong; Canada’s largest cannabis company on Tuesday announced it is temporarily shutting all its retail locations and focusing on online sales.
Smiths Falls, Ont.-based Canopy Growth said all 23 of its stores operating under the Tweed and Tokyo Smoke banners will close as of 5 p.m. Tuesday. The affected locations are in Manitoba, Newfoundland, Saskatchewan and Smiths Falls.
“We have a responsibility to our employees, their families, and our communities to do our part to “flatten the curve” by limiting social interactions,” CEO David Klein wrote in a statement. “For us, that means shifting our focus from retail to e-commerce.”
Klein noted that outlets “have been serving an above-average volume of transactions in recent days. Given the current situation, it is in the best interest of our teams and our communities to close these busy hubs until we are confident we can operate our stores in the best interest of public health.”
The Ontario Cannabis Store, the provincially owned wholesaler that sells to retail customers online, reported a spike in sales of up to 80 per cent this past Saturday, according to Marijuana Business Daily. Retailers also reported increased sales in Alberta and Quebec, though in British Columbia some say they have seen little change.