Orillia cannabis stores enjoyed a strong start to the calendar year despite lockdowns and pandemic-related restrictions.
Six retail cannabis stores in Orillia combined to make $2,358,000 during the first three months of 2021, according to numbers provided to OrilliaMatters by the Ontario Cannabis Store (OCS). The OCS includes Rama Cannabis in Orillia numbers.
Orillia ranks 26th out of 160 Ontario cities for total retail sales and ranks 18th in the province for cannabis sales per capita.
A total of 295,000 grams were sold by the city’s cannabis retailers within the same three-month period.
Here are the six retail outlets that sold cannabis in the Orillia area between January and March of 2021 (The OCS could not providing rankings related to store sales; this list is alphabetical):
- Happy Dayz Orillia – 69 Mississaga St. E.
- Miss Jones Orillia – 81 Mississaga St. E
- Rama Cannabis – 5984 Rama Rd.
- Sessions Cannabis Orillia – 30 Diana Dr.
- ShinyBud Cannabis Co. – 975 West Ridge Blvd.
- The Den Cannabis Store Orillia – 660 Atherley Rd.
More than $840 million was raked in by Ontario’s 572 cannabis retail stores and the OCS website between April 2020 and March 2021, with a little over 99 million grams sold, according to a report released by OCS earlier this month.
A total of 12,873 complaints were received by OCS during the 2020-2021 fiscal year. The province notes that 72 percent of those complaints were vape-related.
Miss Jones Cannabis Outposts Regional Operations Manager, Jesse Smith, says things are going "really well" for the Orillia business that is in its first year of operation.
“We had some initial challenges with getting into our space and opening up, but we’ve had nothing but positive feedback from the community since,” he said.
“We’ve been able to develop a large core client base that has been coming to our store since opening, and they have continued shopping with us even when they couldn’t enter and shop in our stores.”
Smith says the Orillia store is one of Miss Jones' busiest stores of the 11 they operate across Ontario. Since Ontario moved into Step 2 of the re-opening plan, sales have nearly doubled, he said.
“We have had steady traffic flow from 9 a.m. till 10:30 p.m. daily, and now that all the restaurants are reopened and the whole strip is coming alive again those customers are passing by and seeing us,” he said.
While Smith admits the most popular products at Miss Jones are not surprisingly "flower" and "pre-roll," the industry is vastly maturing and growing.
“We are seeing a lot of new categories popping up,” Smith said.
“Beverages have become a lot more popular now with it being summertime and people getting together outdoors with friends and family. In the Orillia community specifically, customers come to our store for all different reasons and products," he told OrilliaMatters.
A lot of customers are also buying cannabis oils and bath bombs to help them relax after a long day at the office.
“One thing our stores do so well is they allow customers to come in and learn about the products, learn about the other categories, and be educated,” Smith said.
“We pride ourselves on our customer experience and we don’t rely exclusively on technology to educate customers.”
During their first year of operation, Miss Jones Cannabis Outpost has felt accepted by downtown shoppers and merchants.
“There may be some specific people that have different perspectives on cannabis, and I think it’s fair in a very new industry and market. But I think the community always was very excited for us to be there and be opening a new business during a challenging time,” Smith said.
“We hired locally, and we’ve retained all of our staff during reopening, and most of them have grown into more senior positions within our company," Smith said.
"I think we’ve done a lot for the community when it comes to educating and introducing cannabis in a way that’s different from our competitors, and we’ve created a great workplace where we grow people into various roles within our company," he said.
--With files from SooToday Staff