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Mark Stermer, CEO

Mark Stermer, CEO

The impact of a pandemic on cannabis sales


Summary of piece

Cannabis sales have soared during this COVID-19 pandemic.  The increase is a clear outcome of the extended, mandatory, stay-at-home measures and closures of businesses.


“Cannabis purchases rose as much as 600 per cent since the beginning of March in Canada’s biggest market thanks to stockpiling by consumers during the COVID-19 pandemic – and demand may be sticking around.”


COVID-19 has extensively overturned our lives — from the places we shop at, restaurants we visit, media we follow, and our places of work. Initial reactions included, of course, a competitive run for toilet paper and hand sanitizer, but also steady increases in demand for alcohol and, in a similar way, cannabis.

In many provinces the cannabis industry was deemed an ‘essential service’, during the COVID-19 pandemic, where businesses across multiple industries were forced to temporarily close. As with alcohol sales, Canadians consider cannabis as a form of at home recreation during these unprecedented times.

This latest and unequivocal vote of confidence in the value of our industry could very well be the stimulus that we needed – at the right time. The increase in demand could add to the erosion of any remaining stigmas we have faced in the past and bring upon the brighter future we all believe in.

With new products set to roll out throughout the year, such as cannabis-infused beverages, and the increasing number of licenced cannabis producers and distributors, the surge in demand has shown investors the potential for the industry, even during times of change and disruption.

As the stay-at-home mandates start to relax and businesses begin to reopen, how will cannabis sales fare over the short and medium term? Will the recent surge be a one-time response due to stay-at-home measures? Does cannabis continue to see sales growth and enjoy a bright future? Regardless, the cannabis industry has stabilized its position in the economy, and society, and shown the public yet again the value of our products.


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