While some businesses struggled to keep the lights on during quarantine, others experienced an increase in sales.
Justin Bunter, the co-owner of a cannabis retail store called Spiritleaf in Lac La Biche, has noticed more people are stocking up as they try to limit their social interactions.
During the months people have been quarantined, Bunter has seen a 40 per cent increase in sales at Spiritleaf.
“Normally people would come in to buy a pre-roll (joint) or a gram, now they are coming in and buying half an ounce. People are stocking up and making sure they have supplies at home,” said Bunter.
“I think people are trying to be a little more responsible with their interactions to help keep COVID-19 spread to a minimum.”
Other speculations as to why the sales of cannabis had gone up is because people had more time on their hands while secluded in their homes, and their mental health was suffering.
According to a study by the Angus Reid Institute, half of Canadians are saying their mental health had gotten worse since the quarantine.
However, other studies have linked cannabis use to worsening anxiety or depression.
— Angus Reid Institute (@angusreidorg) April 27, 2020
But Bunter believes people could be turning to cannabis to help with their anxiety, depression, and to tune out the added stress of the pandemic.
“Cannabis can really help people through stressful and unpredictable times,” says Bunter. “For me it just mutes some of the background noise, so I can focus on what I need to do and not be so focused on the things I can’t control.”
With the successful past few months of business, it has been difficult for Bunter to keep some of the more popular products on the shelves.
“Gummies are the hardest thing to keep in stock,” says Bunter. “They are usually sold out a couple of days after we’ve restocked them.”
Although sales have increased, it doesn’t mean Spiritleaf is taking any chances during the pandemic.
“We’ve got hand sanitizer, social distancing stickers, a sneeze/cough guard around the till,” says Bunter. “Just cutting down on interaction and trying to be as safe as we can in these ever evolving times.”
Equilibrium did not respond by press time.