As the seriousness of the COVID-19 pandemic became more clear in early to mid-March, cannabis users also got more serious about their supply.
“We certainly noticed an uptick in business especially towards early to middle of March,” said Sheila Rivers, owner of Coast Range Cannabis in Comox. “A lot of people have been worried about supply channels and closures as well so we had a lot of people coming in initially to stock up.”
Sales have remained high since that spike in mid-March.
At Coast Range Cannabis more people have been coming through the door and the purchases made by customers have increased as well.
“We’ve seen 40 to 50 per cent more traffic in the store which has been really exciting for us because we’re new and trying to grow our business so we’re getting a ton of new people in Comox and certainly more people buying higher volume products that we have now,” added Rivers.
Cannabis retailers are on the BC Government list of essential services allowed to stay open during the pandemic which is good news to customers like Ted Holecamp.
“I’ve done my share. No, it doesn’t surprise me. It’s legal and it’s good. It’s better than alcohol I think,” said Holecamp.
His son recently opened Daylight Cannabis in Tofino.
Fewer people working right now could also be a reason behind higher sales.
“Well with more people having to stay home there’s probably not a hell of a lot else to do than sit around the house, get high and watch the tube right?” said Alex, who was a customer in the store Thursday.
Even as many people lose their jobs and wages disappear cannabis sales remain strong.
“For some people, cannabis isn’t necessarily a luxury item, it’s something that they’re budgeting for,” said Rivers. “It’s something that’s on their grocery list. It’s an essential item, regardless of if it’s recreational we see a lot of people using cannabis to better their daily lives.”