NEW BRIEF

Canopy closes cannabis stores, pivots to e-commerce to help ‘flatten the curve’

Smiths Falls, Ontario-based Canopy Growth is temporarily closing all corporate-owned Tokyo Smoke and Tweed adult-use retail locations to help stem the worsening COVID-19 coronavirus epidemic.

Canopy operates 23 stores in Newfoundland, Saskatchewan and Manitoba as well as the Tweed visitor center in Smiths Falls.

The closures are effective at 5 p.m. local time on March 17.

“We have a responsibility to our employees, their families and our communities to do our part to ‘flatten the curve’ by limiting social interactions. For us, that means shifting our focus from retail to e-commerce,” CEO David Klein said in a statement.

He said Canopy’s stores were seeing “above-average” sales in recent days. Cannabis stores in Ontario and Alberta reported “unprecedented demand.”

Canopy did not disclose the number of employees affected by the closures.

The announcement does not apply to the noncorporate-owned Tokyo Smoke stores in Ontario.

Canopy’s stores in Manitoba and Saskatchewan will continue selling products through their e-commerce platforms.

Other provinces and territories manage their own government-run online stores, effectively shutting privately owned cannabis businesses out of e-commerce sales and deliveries.

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.

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