Sales in P.E.I. Cannabis have fallen close to 70 per cent since retail outlets were closed in order to help stop the spread of COVID-19.
Cannabis retail stores on the Island were closed alongside liquor stores on March 19. While some liquor stores on the Island have reopened, the cannabis stores remain closed, although sales can still be made online.
“Right now we’re probably doing approximately 30 to 35 per cent of our normal business that we would do during this time of year,” said Zach Currie, director of operations with the P.E.I. Cannabis Management Corporation.
P.E.I. Cannabis has seen a spike in its online orders, said Currie, and that’s where staff have been focusing most of their attention.
“Whether that be through communicating with customers through social media, upholding our mandate of public education through social media, you know, adding new things,” he said.
“It’s really been kind of shifting things around, getting reorganized and trying to be there for our customers as best as we can during these times.”
P.E.I. Cannabis has waived the shipping costs and has a phone-in option that will help customers navigate the online ordering process.
Preparing to reopen
Currie said P.E.I. Cannabis is having regular discussions with government about the feasibility of reopening the stores. He also said preparations are being made in stores so that when the government allows them to open the doors again, P.E.I. Cannabis is ready.
“We’ve installed Plexiglas barriers, we’ve introduced measures within the store that, I guess, would limit the amount of retail exploration customers would be able to do,” he said.
“We’re constantly in contact with security personnel and have an operational plan in place that would see reduced hours and restrict customers in store.”
But, Currie said there’s no timeline yet as to when stores could reopen.
While some of the liquor stores on the Island have reopened, no similar plans have been made for cannabis stores.
“There is an option to buy online and have it delivered to your door and that’s the message that has been sent back over and over again,” said Steven Myers, minister of transportation, infrastructure and energy.