One day after the legalization of marijuana, demand outpacing supply has resulted in companies across Canada experiencing shortage — or even running out of the product.
“We expected, you know, certain strains might run out and there would be a bit of a run on supply,” Bill Blair, a former Toronto police chief, told public broadcaster CBC. “But, you know, they’ve got a pretty good infrastructure in place and I’m confident it will work.”
In Canada’s most populated province, Ontario, some 38,000 orders for marijuana — worth about US$574,800 — were registered in the first few hours Wednesday.
In neighboring Quebec, 42,000 orders were processed in-store and online.
“This volume of orders far exceeds the forecasts of the SQDC,” the Quebec government pot retailer stated, adding that it is “difficult to anticipate the volume of sales ... given the lack of data from a sector that 48 hours ago was still illegal.”
Even Canada’s smallest provinces on the Atlantic coast, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, posted huge figures of US$505,824 and US$116,492 in sales, respectively.
Multiple web retailers, including the Ontario government’s pot portal, warned customers that they should expect shipping delays of up to five days.
Amid Canada’s pot joints running low on cannabis, customers paid relatively high prices — ranging from US$4 in Quebec to US$14.55 in Saskatchewan per gram — compared to the black market that saw average prices plunge in the last year to US$5.20.
On Wednesday, Canada became the world’s first major economy — and only the second country in the world, after Uruguay — to legalize the recreational use of cannabis.