Two years after Oshawa’s first cannabis dispensary opened its doors, business is flying high. The recently rebranded Purple Moose Cannabis, located just minutes from Highway #401and Stevenson Rd. S in Oshawa, has found itself on the Ontario Cannabis Store’s list of the top ten stores two years in a row. While many independent dispensaries worry about increasing competition and decreasing margins, Purple Moose Cannabis has seen steady growth year over year with demand coming from surprising quarters.
Jacob Stevens, owner of Purple Moose Cannabis, chalks the company’s success up to a mixture of good fortune and knowing what products Oshawans want.
“We were fortunate to be one of the first 25 stores to receive a license under the government’s first cannabis store lottery,” explains Stevens. “That allowed us to select an excellent location from which to service Oshawans and others living in Durham. While we’ve seen increased competition from new stores in the two years since we opened, we continue to be a top destination. What sets us apart is that we have the largest selection of cannabis, CBD, edibles and other cannabis-infused products and accessories in the community. We also have some of the best trained staff in the region. They’re able to educate and guide clients across the spectrum of use, from the daily cannabis users to those who are trying it for the first time.”
Demand and customer tastes have changed over the years. Initially, those who entered the store were transitioning from the black market to the legal market. During the pandemic, the store saw increased demand, larger purchases, and a focus on cannabis products promoting greater comfort. Now, one of Purple Moose’s fastest-growing client demographic comes from Durham’s older adults.
“The growth in cannabis use by new uses and older adults surprises some, but it makes perfect sense,” explains Stevens. “Now that so much of the stigma around cannabis is no longer prevalent in society, and now that we’ve seen that legalization hasn’t caused chaos, new users and older adults are more comfortable with the idea of using the products. They’re coming into the store for education, guidance and recommendation. They aren’t starting with high dose THC, but are predominantly interested in CBD, topicals, edibles, and lower THC strength cannabis strains. They are pleased with the results they’re getting from the products and that makes them eager to tell all their friends and family about it, which encourages others to come in and try cannabis products for themselves.”
Stevens sees the future of cannabis as growth in the diversity of the products that will be available to consumers. While infused edibles in Canada offer a maximum of 10 mg of THC per serving, infused edibles in areas of the US where legalization has taken hold offer as much as 100 mg of THC per item. With recreation legalization on the horizon across the US, many believe higher potency products will soon be in demand across the border in Canada. As more Canadians try cannabis products, demand for those that satisfy vegan, halal, kosher and gluten-free dietary restrictions are also expected to come to market.
Stevens is optimistic about maintaining Purple Moose Cannibis’ top ten retail store status. “In the two years since we’ve opened, we’ve seen Oshawa embrace cannabis in a safe and comfortable way. Now our challenge will be to keep them excited about new products and experiences. It’s a challenge we’re eager to rise to and to meet for the benefit of our customers in Oshawa and Durham!”
For more information about Purple Moose, please visit www.purplemoosecannabis.com.