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Ontario sees flurry of new customers amid COVID-19


April 17, 2020
By The Canadian Press

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Ontario’s cannabis distributor has seen online orders triple since COVID-19 started sweeping the country and prevention measures were implemented, with almost one in three orders coming from new customers.

The Ontario Cannabis Store says it received between 2,500 and 3,500 orders prior to March 9, but in the weeks after mass adoption of physical distancing, those orders doubled to 5,000, then doubled again, topping out at 13,000 in one particular week.

In a bid to continue squeezing out the illegal market and keep up with the demand, the distributor has staffed up, lowered prices on more than 240 cannabis products and launched free shipping during COVID-19 to make legal options more accessible.

The demand and closures of some cannabis stores have pushed the OCS to expand its three-day, direct-to-door courier service to cover 63 per cent of the province’s consumers.

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That service will be expanded in the coming weeks, but is already dealing with almost 5,000 orders a day, up from its usual 400.

More than 30 per cent of total orders are from new customers.