Below is the part of a weekly series of benchmarks provided by the team at Cannabis Benchmarks®.
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Cannabis Benchmarks’ analysis showed that increasing recreational cannabis sales in Canada were highly correlated to the opening of new brick-and-mortar retail locations. Despite online sales being available from the start of legalization, Canadians appear to greatly prefer purchasing cannabis in person.
However, since the stay-at-home orders issued by Canadian officials in the wake of COVID-19, reports indicate that orders placed with the mostly provincial-run online stores have exploded. Our estimates show that for March, online sales as a percent of the total increased month-on-month for the first time in over six months. We expect such trends to continue in April.
The current situation raises the question of whether Canadian LPs should be permitted to sell direct to consumers and bypass provincial online stores, which they are already permitted to do for registered medical cannabis patients.