Christmas was a success for the cannabis industry

Published Jan 2, 2021 10:00 a.m. ET
iStock / Deagreez

Ho ho, ho! Santa was busy in the western provinces of Canada for this COVID-19 Christmas. He was visiting the cannabis dispensary, perhaps in your town, for edibles and stocking stuffers. Sales of recreational cannabis have exploded, and the product disappeared off store shelves as soon as they are stocked. What are the reasons for this successful retail time for legal cannabis dispensaries that are located in the western provinces?

Past repeating itself

Many weed retailers are thankful for the UCP government's choice to deem liquor stores and marijuana as essential because it was the saving grace for the average cannabis dispensary during the spring pandemic. As the second round of lockdowns begins, the hope is for the same thing to happen. The current retail revenues seem to suggest that it will. Retailers in Alberta are seeing return customers who, through lockdown and restriction due to COVID, invested in cannabis products, and they keep coming back for more.

How things change

Chris Howell, manager of a cannabis dispensary, says that it is pretty strange that something considered illegal is now deemed as essential. The producing end of the cannabis business has seen significant layoffs of workers. This part of the industry has struggled, while the cannabis retailers have done remarkably well during this pandemic.

One cannabis sector analyst predicts that they will continue to do well. This sector's challenging conditions have been presented with the opportunity to see retail shops and the cannabis dispensary revenue benefit from the devastating world-wide virus in Alberta and B.C. There has been a steady single-digit increase in retail growth figures, and as we move forward, legal retail stores are set to top one billion dollars in sales this year.

Why the drive?

Last January, edibles became legal in Alberta. This action is deemed as a driving force behind the increase in the sales of cannabis 2.0 products. The legal timing of cannabis 2.0 products in cannabis dispensaries makes it so that for the first time, legal cannabis products can be used as a gift or stocking stuffer for Christmas.

What is in those stockings?

  • THC and CBD infused beverages were high on the list this year among products to stuff those stockings with. Cannabis-infused drinks are responsible for making up 23 percent of the edible market in Canada. The U.S. numbers are considerably lower at between five and seven percent.

  • Pre-rolled joints are another popular item for the Christmas season stocking stuffers.

  • Bath salts with THC or CBD are another fast-moving product, along with infused tea bags.

  • For the wellness part of the cannabis business, CBD creams are ever popular for treating aches and pains, including arthritis.

  • If you need to fill the stockings of those sweet tooth cannabis consumers, the soft gummier option is one that many enjoy.

  • A cannabis dispensary in the western provinces tailors their branding and provides the traditional pre-roll and naming it a kushmas stix.

  • Final thoughts

    What better time than Christmas for the cannabis dispensary to experiment with the prices of their products? Value shoppers are looking for a big bang for their buck, especially at this time of the year. This is an essential service that can help us to get through the anxious times we’re living through at this time of year. Retailers in the Western provinces have realized that there is no better time to introduce to new and existing customers different products and prices. Let’s hope that the great results of Christmas sales numbers continue as we advance in 2021.

    Using cannabis to deal with quarantining for yet another holiday


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