TORONTO — Canadian cannabis users are doing a lot less puff, puff, pass during the COVID-19 pandemic, as people try to minimize their distance and contact with one another.
The shift away from sharing joints is pushing up pre-roll sales and encouraging companies to rethink product sizes, say members of the cannabis industry.
“We started to notice the shift that was going on back in the winter,” says Kelly Olsen, the vice-president of Canopy Growth Corp.’s global flower business.
“Consumers were no longer comfortable with sharing joints anymore… and the weight sizes that were available in the market were not really providing the optimal experience for them.
Research commissioned by the Smiths Falls, Ont. company revealed that the pre-roll joint category grew by 48 per cent across the entire market between January and May 2021.
A report from the Ontario Cannabis Store, the province’s pot distributor, shows almost $97 million of pre-rolls were sold between April 2020 and March 2021, up from $42.6 million between April 2019 and March 2020.
Part of that sales increase is attributable to a significant rise in the number of cannabis stores, but Canopy says Canadians who feel that traditional 0.5 gram joints are too big for them to enjoy in one sitting, and who worry about passing germs along with joints, are factors as well.
To address these new demands, Canopy recently started selling some smaller joints in larger packs.
Its Tweed Quickies now come in 10 packs of 0.35 gram joints in the Green Cush and Afghan Kush varietals.