Huge Crowd Shows Up at First Delta 9 Cannabis Store For Historic Opening Day!
Hundreds of Manitobans from all age groups lined up outside the Delta 9 Cannabis Store at 827 Dakota Street in Winnipeg on Wednesday, October 17 to purchase cannabis legally for the first time in almost 100 years.
The first customer went through the doors at 10 a.m. and the lineup lasted until closing time 12 hours later. The response was overwhelming to even the most optimistic of predictors.
“We want to say a big thank you to everyone in Manitoba who came out to support us,” said Delta 9 CEO John Arbuthnot, who was in the crush of the action when the first customers came through the door. “We were just blown away by the response. We were expecting maybe 20 to 30 people lined up for the opening, maybe a slow trickle through the day. It was crazy, surpassing even our wildest expectations.”
Arbuthnot was also shopping online when Delta 9 Internet sales began at midnight sharp. He tried to place the first order but ended up being order number 90 of 600. Over 500 orders were placed within the first hour.
“The online sales demand was amazing,” said the 28-year-old CEO, who started Delta 9 as a school project in 2009. “We had hundreds and hundreds of orders by 2 a.m. We were sold out by 4 a.m. and had to restock. It was incredible.”
Marshall Posner, VP of Marketing at Delta 9, said the overwhelming response was partly due to their grassroots marketing campaigns.
“We tried to go wherever the people interested in cannabis were for years,” said Posner. “We listened to what Manitobans had to say and answered their questions whenever we could. If we couldn’t answer a question, we went looking for the answer. The collective wisdom of Manitobans was a big help to us when we were developing our products and services and our first store. Manitobans are very intelligent cannabis consumers and they provided us with a lot of insightful advice.”
Long-time cannabis advocate Steven Stairs camped outside the Dakota Street store the night before opening day and by 10 a.m. he was the first person in a lineup that had snaked around the corner and coiled itself up and down the adjacent alley.
“As a cannabis advocate, I need to be up to date and informed with the most current information,” said the 34-year-old Stairs. “Whether that’s legalization, medical aspects, stores, openings times, prices. I chose to be here because Delta 9 has earned my respect over the last five years. They’ve done great things for Manitoba and the economy. And they’re a Manitoba-made company, which makes me even more supportive.
“I’ve developed a rapport with a lot of the employees. They make me feel like they’re family I can trust with the worries and concerns that both medical patients and recreational users have with cannabis. I just feel like they’ve listened to questions, concerns and criticisms and adjusted accordingly. They haven’t just said we’re Delta 9 and we’re doing our own thing. I’m very proud of that. They’re ‘Friendly Manitoba’ in a company.”
Steven Stairs visiting the Delta 9 Cannabis Sensory Bar to choose his strains
Stairs expected the long lineup, saying he had great faith in the Winnipeg cannabis community.
“They come out when you need them,” he said. “And there’s a pretty big market here. I think the estimates of $300-500 million in projected revenues annually were extremely conservative. I think you can probably go as high as 900 million.”
Stairs was also impressed with the new Delta 9 Cannabis Store.
“It’s exactly what you would want from a cannabis store,” said Stairs. “It’s vibrant. It’s open. It’s got that new kind of feel. Bright, well lit, information screens, shelving, a separate lounge area for relaxing and consultations. Friendly knowledgeable staff, excellent product lines. All these things are exactly what the legalisation of cannabis needed. We needed that credibility, that air of professionalism. Education, clothing, books, it’s an amazing one-stop shop for cannabis. They’ve got everything you could possibly need. It’s really nice to see how far we have come.”
The crowd had many and varied reasons for showing up on the first day of cannabis legalization.
“I’ve been waiting 50 years for this,” said Simon, age 70. “It’s a good start, and it’s about time,” said Toby, 20. “I think it is a wonderful initiative,” said Gary, 58. “I hope it meets the needs of all those involved. I see it as a good thing. I didn’t expect such a large crowd.”
“It’s about time,” said Vanessa, 31. “I’m just nosy,” said 60-something Debbie. “This is like IHOP, I’m coming for the grand opening.” “I’m enjoying the site,” said Daniel, 41. “I didn’t expect the lineup, but it’s a historical thing.”
“The time has come,” said Danny, 22. “We were born at the right time. I think everybody’s ready for it. The demographic here is insane, although I don't see a lot of real young people. They’re probably all in school, where we should be. We’re going to U of M now. Before I would just be sitting around studying and a guy would come by and ask me if I needed any help. And I would ask what he meant and he would say ‘Do you want to buy some drugs?’ That actually happens. This is more professional. And the location here is just amazing.
“I bought about eight grams for not much more than I would pay a dealer on the street, so I’m pretty happy. And I can be sure it’s good quality. I prefer Sativa, because I like to smoke and then get stuff done. It helps me focus.”
“It’s a safer way to buy weed,” said Sully’s friend Danny, 19. “And it’s more practical. We bought joint filters, plus some banana papers that are organic, no chemicals or preservatives, good for the earth.”
Thank You Manitoba!