How are retail stores getting ready for cannabis sales?

Published May 2, 2019 12:30 p.m. ET
AP Photo/David Zalubowski

The consumer of the prized green plant is speaking up. Recreational monthly sales in Canada are estimated at 49.9 million dollars. Currently, Canada’s top sales are in flowers followed by pre-rolls. However, this is about to change if what the consumer is saying is valid. Edibles and lotions are soon to be legal in Canada, October 18, 2019, and the consensus is that consumes can’t wait to have legal access to these products.

One in five Canadians has legally consumed cannabis.

About 28% of Canadians have stated they will be trying cannabis now that it is legal.

Generations and age have particular effects on the expected edible retail market.

Trials conducted by Nielsen indicated the percentages per generations:

Silent Generation: 41.7%
Gen X40:4%
Old Millennials: 37.8%
Young Millennials: 35.5%
Gen Z: 32.8%

About 55% of people that purchase edibles spend about one quarter of the budget they use for cannabis on edibles.

Seniors make up about 19% of the cannabis population.

Seniors are using cannabis in place of opioids prescribed by their health provider; arthritis is a common complaint voiced by seniors, and more seniors are venturing into the cannabis plant for relief.

Let us look at the categories that could be affected by the legalization of cannabis.

Here are some of the areas where growth can be expected:

• Baked goods, candy/confectionary, and snacks
• Storage for cannabis products
• Odour control/air fresheners
• Fertilizer, grow lights


Cannabis with CBD as the main ingredient has the biggest potential for growth in 2019. Health concerns are the most reasons given for the drive towards consumers trying cannabis. Some of the issues are:

• Chronic pain 55%
• Sleep aid 54%
• Relaxation 49%
• Inflammation 48%
• Temporary pain relief 48%

Retailers are looking at ways to influence the consumer to purchase CBD products. Some of the ventures include:

• Free samples, 34% of people look for the retail store to provide samples as a promoting tool
• Doctor recommendations 34%
• Eating or drinking cannabis 30%
• Other means than smoking cannabis 30%
• The anticipation of what to expect when consuming 23%

Studies show what percentage of adults would like to explore the different methods of consuming CBD. Using cannabis in edibles appears to be the highest percentage accounting for 16%.

Drops or tinctures account for 13%
Capsules 13%
Buds 12%
Topicals 12%
Drinks 11%
Pet products 7%

Retail sales of OTC have declined since the legalization of cannabis. Consumers are trying cannabis for treating headaches, as natural health supplements and upset stomach issues. Wellness is a huge component that cannabis is being used for, especially in the senior population.

For retailers in Canada, sales of recreational cannabis is bright, about 2.0 billion dollars in sales is expected in the year 2019. The year 2020 will include edibles in those numbers. This figure could reach 2.9 billion dollars in sales. Sales in the year 2021 are projected as $3.8 billion.

All of the numbers and charts that cannabis has found itself on are a positive, showing that cannabis is a profitable commodity that Canada and her people are eager to explore.

Question is, will retail businesses be ready for  consumers?



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