On October 17, 2018, an endless line of people lined up in front of a new store on Sainte-Catherine Street. What was there on offer? Not the last iPhone, but the legal pot, a first in the history of the country.
Two years ago to the day, the federal government’s cannabis law came into effect, legalizing this previously criminalized substance for good. The same day, the 12 initial SQDCs opened their doors.
The images captured by VAT News the morning of the opening of the downtown branch show an exceptional enthusiasm. The line is then around 200 meters, and the journalist covering the event must turn at the corner of Metcalfe and Sainte-Catherine to end up near the entrance to the building. Sun Life.
“It’s important because it’s the end of hypocrisy”, then launched a client to the journalist of VAT News.
The context and the days preceding the historic opening of these branches are told in a post published on the SQDC website on Saturday.
“Branch [de Sainte-Catherine] was filled to the brim with Quebec, American and European media. There was clearly a global interest surrounding the legalization of cannabis. And the SQDC and its model would shine all over the world, ”declared Jean-François Bergeron, CEO of the SQDC.
The manager of the address, Alban Troja, explained that an employee left her job in 5 minutes, immediately after the opening at 10 am, because it was “too much for her”.
On the website, the opening day remained the busiest in the history of the SQDC.
“On the first day, SQDC.ca recorded 450,000 visits, 27,000 user accounts were created, and there were 30,000 orders. That’s 2,000 orders per hour. By way of comparison, we are currently registering less than 2,000 orders per day on the site ”, it is written in the post.
When the shops closed at 9 p.m., the lines were still long in front of all the branches.
If the state-owned company started with 12 points of sale, the network is now extended to 30 addresses across Quebec.
Since then, legalization does not appear to have resulted in a significant increase in pot consumption in the general population. In fact, the percentage of Canadians who said they smoke every day rose from 5.9% before legalization to 6% after it, according to Statistics Canada, and from 14.9% to 16.8% among those who have used cannabis in the 3 months preceding the survey (data from 2018-2019).
The SQDC achieved sales of $ 110.4 million during the period from March 29 to June 20, which is $ 65.3 million more than the $ 45.1 million made during the corresponding period a year earlier.