BC Cannabis Stores working to mitigate ‘potential supply issues’

British Columbia’s adult-use cannabis wholesaler says it is working closely with industry stakeholders to mitigate potential supply issues amid the coronavirus outbreak gripping the global economy.

BC Liquor Distribution Branch (LDB) is also reinforcing safety and hygiene procedures for employees and customers.

“At this time, we are not experiencing any delays or impacts to the supply of nonmedical cannabis product,” LDB Chief Executive Blain Lawson said in a statement.

LDB activated an Emergency Operations Center to monitor the situation.

In the meantime, BC Cannabis Stores plans to go ahead with a grand opening this week at a new location, despite growing public efforts to limit physical interaction to stem the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak.

A grand opening event planned for a new store in Fort St. John, in northeastern British Columbia, is going ahead as scheduled.

“We are following all the directives from B.C.’s Public Health Officer and think we can maintain social distancing at the event,” a spokesperson told Marijuana Business Daily on Monday morning.

“Our teams are sticking to a regular ‘wipe down’ schedule for common surfaces such as door handles, sniff jars, cash desks and other surfaces.”

Lawson’s public notice said the organization has implemented more frequent processes for the cleaning and disinfecting of common areas and equipment.

Those areas include:

  • Entrance and exit door handles.
  • Cash register countertops.
  • Pin pads.
  • Sniff pods.

BC Cannabis Stores currently operates 14 retail outlets, supplementing more than 150 privately owned outlets across the province.

Lawson urged in-store customers lining up for service to practice social distancing by maintaining a physical buffer of about two meters from others.

Employee health is being monitored, he said.

“We are closely following the direction of our provincial health officials, which maintain a low public health advisory for British Columbia at this time,” according to the statement.

Cannabis stores in Ontario and Alberta reported an increase in demand as Canadians prepare to self-isolate.

A spokesperson for the LDB said there has been no change in its online sales.

Matt Lamers is Marijuana Business Daily’s international editor, based near Toronto. He can be reached at mattl@mjbizdaily.com.

For more of Marijuana Business Daily’s ongoing coverage of the coronavirus pandemic and its effects on the cannabis industry, click here.