While millions are furloughed from jobs in Canada and businesses like food and manufacturing have floundered, cannabis sales took an upsurge and almost matched traditional top sellers like beer.
According to The Canadian Red Cross, 27% of Canadian cannabis uses revealed they have consumed weed much more frequently during the pandemic outbreak and actually edging 26% of alcohol users who said they have taken to beverages during the onslaught of Covid-19.
The Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction attributes the popularity of cannabis use to due to the cocktail of boredom, stress, loneliness and anxiety that Covid-19 has been suddenly brought into social lives of young-adult Canadians especially. Nom Hollingsworth, the owner of the Mind-Full The Cannabis store in Alberta province, home to 418 cannabis stores, explains why alcohol sales have been overtaken by cannabis. “I ́m hardly surprised cannabis is having a terrific bull run. Chatting to my customers they all tell me you can ́t sit all day and drink lagers and pints yourself.
You ́ll die. But you can smoke a joint all day and feel cool.”Entrepreneurs at the fore front of deepening Canada ́s cannabis market too are not surprised as the product holds ground in a pandemic. “Canada cannabis market is set to become four times bigger than it was in 2019,” predicts David Klein, chief executive of Canopy Growth, one of the leading cannabis entrepreneurs in Canada. While investors in Canada have been cautious, even dumping stocks in traditional picks like banking, transport or transport, interest in cannabis blue chip stocks has actually blossomed. For example, leading Canadian Cannabis Company Heritage ́s stock is cited as a strong “Must Buy” Rating by top fund managers like Devin Schilling of PI Financial. “This is a strong show of faith in cannabis future returns direction at a time the general stocks market could be gloomy,” Devin says.
As if to aid the sector through the pandemic, Canada ́s government has deferred action for cannabis entrepreneurs to pay annual regulatory fees. In June, Health Canada, the federal health management agency wrote to cannabis retailers and unions that regulatory fees for the 2020 trading period will be delayed until 2021. Regulatory fees eat 2,3% of cannabis traders gross annual profits says George Smitherman chief executive of the Cannabis Council of Canada, the traders union group. This deferral is a boost in the wallet, George says. The sheer popularity of cannabis ahead of beer during the Covid-19 outbreak has not escaped the attention of rogue traders lurking in the shadows. A rogue Canadian merchant who used what he called a submarine to ferry cannabis and man across the Detroit River that separates the US and Canada takes the top prize for being inventive.
In June the man tied weed packages to himself and almost drowned. His life was saved by authorities who fished him from the water as he tried to escape detection. As the pandemic is slowly brought under lid in Canada and businesses commence it seems cannabis is poised even for a greater lift. “It ́s too early to say but we could someday eclipse tobacco cigarettes and alcohol and become the leisure product of choice especially among young millennials,” says George Smitherman chief executive of the Cannabis Council of Canada
Written and Published By Ray Mwareya In Weed World Magazine Issue 147