As blank labels get their finishing touches, detailed with SKUs, barcodes and other particulars ahead of the cannabis go-live date, retailers and dispensaries are determining how best to arrange their marijuana products for customers. But as a recent survey suggests, display style may be immaterial, as Canadians who use marijuana recreationally already say they'll buy it primarily in physical locations.
As opposed to online or through illegal channels, a majority of present and would-be consumers of cannabis anticipate buying their supply at brick-and-mortar stores, according to a recent study released by Deloitte.
Unclear What Demand Will Be Like
However, purchase activity on Oct. 17 and thereafter isn't expected to be inordinately busy, based on some of the findings from the Deloitte report and elsewhere. For example, among 35- to 54-year-olds – viewed as the age range for the average customer – Canadians don't expect to consume cannabis any more than once a month. This finding mirrors that of a separate one conducted by the Angus Reid Institute, which revealed that just 25 per cent of Canadians anticipate using marijuana for recreational purposes regularly after Oct. 17.
"Frequent users say they'll likely spend more on cannabis once it's legalized."
But the verdict is still out on the rate at which cannabis purchases will increase following legalization. As the Deloitte report found, frequent consumers anticipate buying more often. They also plan on spending more of their money in the process, paying as much as nearly 70 percent more than they did previously.
Regardless of how much marijuana is bought in Canada – or where transactions primarily transpire – the fact that it's being legalized for purposes beyond medicinal is something that's been a long time coming for activists.
"It's a day in Canadian history we'll look back on and be proud of," Hilary Black, a leading cannabis activist in Canada who works for one of the world's largest suppliers in Canopy Growth Corporation, told The New York Times. "We are very much taking a strong leadership position on the global stage."
Only Two Nations Where Recreational Marijuana Is Legal
Canada will be just the second country in the world where consumers are free to purchase marijuana without fear of consequence, a move that was first made by Uruguay. But as the Times noted in its reporting, Canada's venture into the recreational cannabis fray is more momentous, given that Uruguay is considerably smaller in terms of population.
Shop owners are encouraged about what the future holds, many now preparing custom labels in last-minute arrangements.
"Oct. 17 is day one of forever," Hotbox Lounge owner Abi Roach told the newspaper. "Now, our job is to reform the law to the point cannabis is going to be a normal part of our lives, whether we choose to consume it or not."
Meanwhile, health officials in Canada are distributing leaflets and digital resource guides to make the legalization transition as seamless as possible and better inform consumers. This includes the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, which produced a digital resource guide designed to help Canadians be more conscientious consumers regarding what can potentially happen to them physically if cannabis is abused.