Weed Shop Problems: How Online Dispensaries Are Meeting Canada’s Weed Needs
Canada legalized recreational weed in October 2018. In doing so, it became the largest country to legalize pot, as well as the first to create large-scale government-run weed shops in addition to private retailers. The country now has a mix of privately owned and publicly managed weed shops. But that hasn’t made it easy for everyone who wants access to weed to get it.
Throughout Canada, prices are high, products are often in short supply, and lines at weed shops can be long. Although government-run weed shops are generally clean, well maintained, and well organized, these issues have led many consumers to buy weed online.
Online Dispensaries vs. Weed Shops
In general, online dispensaries offer several advantages over retail weed shops. Online dispensaries typically offer a more extensive product selection, and may even offer better prices. With an online dispensary, there’s no reason to leave your house or stand in line. In addition, some provinces have only a few brick-and-mortar weed shops, which are restricted to certain business hours.
What Canadians Want From Weed Shops
The National Cannabis Survey, released at the end of 2018, revealed what consumers consider important when buying weed. Product quality and safety were named as the top consideration for choosing a cannabis supplier, followed by price.
Competitive Weed Prices
Nationwide prices at retail shops average around $9.70 per gram, whereas prices at online dispensaries can be considerably lower. Since price was named an important factor for cannabis consumers, they are likely to gravitate toward the vendor with the best prices. Online sales, coupon codes, and free shipping can also sweeten the deal when it comes to buying weed online.
Finding products with the desired ingredient mix and potency was listed as the third highest priority for consumers. But at brick-and-mortar weed shops, product availability is limited. Weed shops may carry only a few strains. If someone is searching for a particular strain to help relieve a specific medical ailment, for example, they may not be able to find it in a weed shop.
Weed shops are also only allowed to order a limited quantity each week. Once they sell out, customers have to wait another week for the next delivery. Given these concerns, it’s not surprising that many Canadians would choose online dispensaries over brick-and-mortar weed shops.
Health Canada’s fourth quarter sales data revealed that recreational cannabis users prefer dry cannabis, whereas medical clients prefer oils. The preference for dry cannabis products has further contributed to the product shortages experienced by retail weed shops. If you’re searching for flowers and leaves, you will always have a broader product selection when shopping for weed online.
Data also indicates that recreational cannabis consumers tend to make small purchases, well below the 30-gram possession limit. In-store purchases averaged just 6.6 grams each. These figures suggest that consumers were sampling small amounts of different products. But once they find a favorite, they may have difficulty finding the same product again at a weed shop, as quantities are so limited.
By contrast, online dispensaries allow customers to easily sample dozens of different strains, and easily order more of their favorite products at any time.
Consumers’ fourth and fifth priorities were availability of cannabis at convenient times and locations. Online retailers have a clear advantage here, as many provinces have only a few physical weed shops, which must operate during certain business hours.
There’s nothing more convenient than being able to order weed from the comfort of your own home, at any time of day. And, customers can often expect to receive their order in just two to three days, which is far more convenient than waiting a week for another shipment at a weed shop that has run out of product.
One area in which physical stores may have a perceived advantage is privacy. Brick-and-mortar weed shops accept cash and retain no customer information. Customers who are concerned about their privacy may feel more comfortable doing business in person as opposed to an online dispensary, which requires a Canada address and a Canada credit card.
While weed shops are likely to continue to adapt to meet the demands of the evolving cannabis market, consumers can already find what they’re looking for at online dispensaries that are committed to providing high-quality products at competitive prices. At MJN Express, we are committed to providing the best online weed shopping experience possible. Browse our extensive product selection to discover why MJN Express is considered one of the most popular delivery services across all of Canada’s provinces!