Ontario cannabis shoppers scooped up thousands of edibles and vape products within an hour of them going on sale for the first time on the Ontario Cannabis Store’s website.
The online retailer experienced 2,000 transactions on Thursday in the hour after 70 products — cannabis-infused chocolates, cookies, soft chews, mints, tea and vapes — were made available at 9 a.m. local time.
Some products sold out within a half-hour, said the cannabis distributor’s spokesperson Daffyd Roderick.
“At 8:59 a.m., we had 3,000 people in the lobby hitting refresh, waiting to get online, so there was obviously some excitement in the marketplace,” he said.
“We were sold out of soft chew products within 25 minutes.”
The rollout is part of Cannabis 2.0, where the country is allowing a second wave of products like edibles, extracts and topicals to hit the market following the October 2018 legalization of cannabis in Canada. The frenzied pace of sales online Thursday comes after the products first appeared on store shelves last week. Such items were approved for sale in Canada in mid-December, but several provinces, including Ontario, delayed their rollout.
When the OCS website was first launched and the first round of cannabis products went on sale in 2018, Roderick said the site experienced “high demand,” causing online deliveries to take as long as five days to arrive. Ontario Premier Doug Ford said in the first 24 hours the OCS processed 38,000 orders.
Roderick said the online debut of the edible and vape products went well, but acknowledged that there were “a few bumps.”
“Because there were so many people simultaneously refreshing, their page would drop and then they would hit refresh a couple times and they would get back,” he said.
“It’s similar when you’re buying concert tickets or anything else where everyone is online trying to do the same thing at the exact same moment, so we did face some challenges but that’s completely sorted itself out now.”