Shopify helps ensure smooth rollout of online cannabis sales: ‘No outages’

Employees work at the Shopify Inc. office in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, on Thursday, Sept. 13, 2018. Shopify Plus, the company's highest-tiered subscription, is attracting migrations from other platforms. In 2Q, more than 50% of customers that were added to the service were new to the Shopify platform. Photographer: Cole Burston/Bloomberg ORG XMIT: 775228442

The commerce platform had about 100 transactions a minute in the first 12 hours of legalized sales

Several provincial governments and cannabis companies may have Shopify Inc. to thank, at least in part, for a relatively smooth first day of legal recreational marijuana sales in Canada.

“Shopify stores experienced no outages,” said Brad Goble, the Ottawa-based e-commerce company’s director of regulated industries, in an emailed response.

When it came to selling pot online, British Columbia, Newfoundland and Labrador, Ontario and Prince Edward Island all turned to Shopify to provide them with e-commerce assistance.

Shopify’s point-of-sale system was also used for Canada’s first-ever sale of recreational pot, which the company said was rung up one minute after midnight in Newfoundland (local time).

Goble said Shopify had been working with governments and licensed producers and private retailers throughout the year to prepare for cannabis sales. And on Wednesday, he added, the company “saw an average of over 100 transactions per minute across the country.”

“In the first 12 hours of legalized cannabis sales, we saw millions of visitors to the stores with tens of thousands of transactions,” Goble said. “In the first 24 hours, we expect hundreds of thousands of orders. In the first week, we expect millions of orders.”