Thursday was the first day of legal cannabis edibles sales in Ontario, and in some regions, it would appear that the public had been waiting. At some of the province’s brick and mortar dispensary locations as well as its government-run online store, edible products including cannabis-infused teas and candies sold with quickness.
Edibles were legalized December 17, but stores had to wait weeks to receive their product deliveries.
The government-run Ontario Cannabis Store — which administers product supply to the province’s dispensaries — reported that of the 70 government-approved products (21 edibles and 50 vaporizer products) it had up for sale in its online store. almost all were snapped up within a nearly alarming 15 minutes when they became officially available to customers at 9 a.m. on Thursday.
An OCS representative told the press which product sold out last. Apparently, people weren’t as manic for a vanilla rooibos CBD tea that the company had in stock — relatively speaking. Supply of the brew, which was the only beverage product sold by the shop, was still liquidated later in the day.
The OCS had similar issues appropriately stocking cannabis flower to consumers when it started hawking those products.
The government’s online pot store has been up and running since April, though it has frustrated its fair share of Ontarians. Figures released by the province’s ombudsman in June of last year showed that of the more than 27,000 complaints received by the official’s office — a record number, according to the report — more people were riled up about the OCS and its often-glitchy online portal than any other government entity.
“We expect licensed producers to ramp up their manufacturing capabilities and that supply issues will resolve themselves in the weeks and months ahead,” wrote OCS director of communications Daffyd Roderick to CBC.
Elsewhere in Ontario, a store in the West London district called J. London were also hit hard. Lines snaked outside Central Cannabis down the street outside the shop, and customers had taken home most of the shop’s edible stock before news site CBC stopped by to chat with the location’s assistant manager Gareth Roach.
“I just have four boxes of peppermints left,” he said. “They’ve been selling fairly crazily.”
Though opening day sales pops are common in recently legalized cannabis markets, Roach seemed hopeful that customers would continue to buy edibles at high rates.
“We are planning for the demand to continue at the moment,” he commented. “I don’t see it going away.”
Cannabis Quandaries in Canada
Recreational cannabis products went on sale in Canada in October of 2018, but provinces took long to decide on regulations when it came to edibles. When guidelines were handed down last October, not everyone was happy. Some cannabis advocates argued that restrictions were too rigid when it came to bans on flavoring and bulky packaging requirements, measures that are often taken to make products unappetizing to minors.
Judging from accelerated sales during the first week such products were on the shelves, cannabis producers were able to work with the government’s restrictions and still hit upon some recipes for which consumers will spend their hard-earned cash.