Changes to the B.C. marijuana industry means easier access and lower prices for consumers.
Spiritleaf Vernon’s Sarah Ballantyne said prices are coming down on numerous products after dispensaries applied pressure to the province to make the recreational weed more price friendly.
“Each month they send out limited time offer price reductions that the producers give them so we have seen that trickle in over the past few months, but it seems like August is the biggest one,” Ballantyne said.
The province has also given dispensaries a break on shipping rates, which also translates into cheaper pot for consumers.
“Normally we would have to mark up our products slightly more to account for shipping compared to the government store that does not have to incorporate that into their price point,” she said. “Our markup us not nearly as big as it used to be, so that means a price reduction across the board.”
Ballantyne said the degree of reductions vary from products to product, but said some 3.5 gram containers that used to sell for $25 are now going for $18.
The price of an ounce of weed has also dropped.
“Before you could get them for $130 to $150, and now we have some for $120,” she said.
Ballantyne said the price drop is due to dispensaries telling licensed producers prices need to come down. The producers then put pressure on the government to reduce the price of inventory they already have in stock.
“The whole system is putting pressure on the LDB for shipping and pricing,” she said.
The way people purchase pot has also changed. The province has amended regulations to allow private cannabis retail store licencees to sell cannabis products online for pick-up in store.
Previously, customers could reserve cannabis products online, but they were required to be physically present to complete payment and obtain their purchases. The new regulation will allow for payments to be made on a website, app or by telephone, limiting customer time in stores and permitting physically distanced pickup.
“We’ve heard from legal cannabis retailers that they want more tools to help increase competitiveness with the illegal market by allowing online sales,” B.C. minister of public safety and solicitor general Mike Farnworth said. “By offering online sales for cannabis products, we can support the growth of a vibrant, legal cannabis industry, while also keeping public safety as our top priority.”
In-store pickup for the online order is still required to allow employees to check identification, but Ballantyne said dispensaries are pushing for the province to allow for a delivery system.
“I have many customers who would like us to deliver to them,” Ballantyne said. “With winter coming a lot of our elderly customers who are not going south this year are already asking us about delivery and what their options are, so we are going to push for that.”
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