An End to Supply Shortages in Sight
If there’s been one hallmark of the rollout of retail cannabis in Canada, it has been a plague of shortages, as well as delayed, incorrect, and even cancelled orders. Amanda Winton, Communications Manager for the Ontario Cannabis Store (which had been one of the worst offenders, along with Saskatchewan), assures Leafly that those days are over now. “Every day customers are ordering and receiving their shipments largely without issue or delay,” she said. And, while many customers agree that things have improved, many of them are still annoyed by the flawed rollout and are wary about trusting government sources of cannabis.
Provinces Still Tallying Sales Figures
While Vice reports that Canadians spent $1.6 billion on legal weed in 2018 (citing a report by Arcview Market Research and BDS Analytics), only one of the provinces or territories would provide specific volume of revenue figures to publish. Kate Bilney, BC Liquor Distribution Branch senior communications officer, said that her province had handled 66,865 online orders and 43,345 in-store purchases for a total of 110,210 sales. Some, like Saskatchewan, don’t operate retail outlets instead serving as licensers and say they are unaware of the numbers, and others, like Quebec, just don’t want to say (for reasons they did not share).
Clearly, the government agencies have been overwhelmed by demand and the resulting chaos has led to confusion over numbers.
“At this time we are not sharing sales or volume information,” said Chara Goodings, Senior Communications Officer for Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis. “Due to the supply shortage of cannabis throughout Canada, the stock keeping units (SKUs) we receive are never consistent, so it’s very difficult to gauge with any level of accuracy.”
Ontario’s Winton did share that the OCS has moved in