The cannabis market has been priming itself for the big time, but getting rules in-place takes time and trust. Only select states and provinces have been able to experience the full freedom of having an online dispensary to pair with their in-store experience, including pickup and delivery – and for those areas, business is booming! It wasn’t until COVID-19 struck, that regions decided to enforce temporary regulations, which allowed dispensaries to, not only sell products online, but also to allow for in-store/curbside pickup & delivery services to help manage demand amid physical distancing efforts.
For the first time in history cannabis was deemed essential, and we were seeing the potential that it could really have here in Ontario.
People love pickup & delivery, and it can become a big part of your bottom-line
43% of Canadians prefer to buy their cannabis online versus in-store — Yep, you read that right.
Compare that to the first year of legalization, where only 13% preferred going online. With such a drastic change in such a short period of time, we can only expect more consumers to opt to go online to purchase their items, especially with people looking to do most of their shopping from the comfort of their homes these days.
But policymakers are failing to see the impacts of having these services removed. Bonnefire, a Toronto-based cannabis retail store has said to have lost upwards of 30% of its revenue, primarily from its delivery offerings when regulations were stripped away following the first provincial lockdown in 2020.
“You can’t un-live this experience… The new habits formed during this pandemic [and] will go far beyond just our spending patterns,”Emily Miller, VP of Strategy & Insight at Big Red Rooster.
She added that, while the Great Recession changed financial habits at the time, the coronavirus crisis will have a far more dramatic effect on our routine behaviours.
Consumers will continue to demand more options that bridge the gap between online, offline, and everything in between, so by providing convenient and flexible options, you’re more likely to gain & keep a new base of recurring customers.
If there was ever a time to invest in bringing your store online and making a presence for yourself, it’s now. If you’re deciding on an e-commerce solution to support your store, check out our startup guide to adopting an e-commerce platform here!
The illicit market profits on hesitations toward new recreational laws
As soon as the province of Ontario revoked cannabis allowances for delivery, take a look at what happened. The illicit market thrives on being able to offer convenience, speed, and lower prices, the triple threat that will win over cannabis consumers everywhere.
This business is not only offering discounts, pickup, and delivery, but they’re also just a text away — how easy is that? Too easy if you ask me.
If regions don’t advocate toward allowing these services to be offered, then situations like this may continue to happen.
So, how do we spark change?
- Support the NCIA-PAC to support federal candidates who are champions for the industry
- The NCIA-PAC is the most-respected federal Political Action Committee (PAC) for cannabis industry professionals and provides contributions to candidates for public office who support forward-thinking reforms that respect state cannabis laws and protect the legal industry.
- Make your voice heard! Contact your elected officials
- Advocate for our industry!