Article by , CBC News
With retail cannabis stores opening in Ontario on April 1, have you suddenly become pot curious? The industry is counting on it.
Ontario’s cannabis business is expected to see a big bump in sales thanks to people who, up to now, have avoided buying legal weed online.
Ontario sales reached $9 million in December, lagging behind Alberta and Quebec despite having a much larger market, according to the last figures made available by Statistics Canada.
“I think having brick and mortar stores, it’s proven to actually inflate the market quite a bit,” said Nick Pateras, with Lift & Co., the Toronto company responsible for training all of Ontario’s retail staff.
“I think you’ll see a pretty sharp spike; three to four times the monthly average pretty quickly,” he said, anticipating the first-time buyers will begin coming out of the woodwork.
A February Statistics Canada survey suggests while 15 per cent of Canadians report using marijuana, 19 per cent say they will in the next three months.
Retail store owners want their staff to be ready when those new customers walk in.
“Some first-time users really need that one-on-one consultation,” said Isaac Watson, VP of product development and retail experience at Fire and Flower, which plans to open two stores in Ottawa and another in Kingston next week.