Calgary, Alberta continues to work out the fine details as they make the transition into a pro-weed province.
The first day of legalization was a massive success, as people slept outside all night to be the very first customers to commemorate this monumental event in Canadian history.
Head shops Four20 and Nova Cannabis were met with line-ups of hundreds as they finally announced their official grand opening and Calgary police and security teams stood by to ensure a safe experience for consumers.
Those that attended the official opening of Four20 and Nova Cannabis reported very smooth experiences and were pleasantly surprised by both store’s classic aesthetic appeal and presentation.
Product stock flew off of shelves at a rapid pace and stores quickly sold out, but for some of our beloved business owners, this was simply not the case.
11 more retail outlets in Calgary had been approved by the city and were awaiting the final green light from the AGLC, while many retailers were forced to wait until the end of the month before receiving their first shipments of cannabis. The delays were due to licensing factors, and with their phone lines blowing up and customers eager to purchase their first batch of legal pot, it will definitely be a rocky start for these Calgary business owners.
Companies had also expressed concerns about there not being enough suppliers or product to the system to facilitate a smooth transition into the country’s official legalization date or deliver enough product to market, but it’s tough to say how things will pan out in the coming days.
On a high note, online stores completely sold out of their product as high demand for cannabis led to what appeared to be technical glitches on some of the online websites.
Government-run and privately-operated sales portals went live at 12:01 a.m. local time across Canada, inducing a wave of demand that resulted in a virtual lineup at Alberta’s e-commerce portal.
At 12:07 a.m. local time the Alberta Liquor and Gaming Commission tweeted: “You like us! Our website is experiencing some heavy traffic. We are working hard to get it up and running.”
AGLC spokesperson Kaleigh Miller said the site didn’t actually crash.
“… People were being put into a queue. You were kind of put into a waiting room so it could process. At one point, we saw over 11,000 people in the queue at once,” she said.
“After about five minutes or so, it was processing 200 orders every five minutes.”
By 8:30 a.m., there had been more than 40,000 visits to the site. Several items, from dried flowers to oils, sold out in a matter of hours.
As this week has progressed The Alberta Gaming Liquor and Cannabis Commission reported that over 28,000 people have registered to buy products online and there has been almost $750,000 in sales and counting.
As with most things, despite even our best attempts at planning, things are bound to go awry especially on such a national scale. As time progresses these minor kinks will be smoothed out and things will fall into a natural groove as we get the ball rolling.