1,000 sales in first hour as B.C. cannabis sales launch

Midnight launch of online store has seen “steady” sales: Farnworth

Strains of cannabis are on display at the Kamloops BC Cannabis Store | Kamloops Matters

Los Angeles cannabis grower Aaron Genetics was the first customer at a legal bricks-and-mortar cannabis store in B.C. on October 17 but thousands of people had already placed online orders by the time that Genetics purchased his cannabis in the government-run store in Kamloops.

Solicitor General Mike Farnworth told media October 17 before the retail store opened that about 1,000 people placed orders in the first hour that the province’s online store was operational and that sales have been “steady” since.

Prices for a gram of dried cannabis range from around $7 to more than $16, depending on quality. Some dried-flower products appear to be more expensive but they are only available in amounts that are more than one gram.

The higher end of that range is higher than in some provinces but Farnworth said that he was not worried that the province has overpriced its weed, despite what some on Twitter have been saying.

“I don’t view Twitter as a reliable source of opinion on virtually any topic,” Farnworth said at the press conference.

“What we’re hearing is that our prices are competitive with other provinces. We’ve got the widest selection of product of any province in the country. What we’ve also learned from other jurisdictions is that people are prepared to pay a premium for knowing that they have a product that they can trust, quality assurance of knowing where it was produced, knowing exactly what it is. We are confident that our pricing is competitive and that it is products that people will want.”

B.C. has added a 15% mark-up that is added into prices but prices in the store have 7% provincial sales tax (PST) and the 5% federal goods and services tax (GST) added to the order at the checkout. The 10% federal excise tax is included in the shelf price. 

B.C. also has a $10 shipping fee, which is twice the $5 shipping fee that Ontario is charging. Both B.C. and Ontario have contracted Shopify to run their online stores and are using Canada Post to deliver products.

Canada Post’s union has threatened strike action that could take place as soon as October 22 and Farnworth said that B.C.’s Liquor & Cannabis Regulation Branch is in contact with Canada Post to learn about any potential rotating strikes as soon as information is available.