REGINA -- On a day that’s normally packed with festivities for marijuana enthusiasts, it was business as usual for many cannabis shops in Saskatchewan, but some stores are reporting a sales increase since COVID-19 restrictions came into effect.

Jim Southam is the president of the Weed Pool Cannabis Co-operative, a group that represents a number of cannabis shops across Saskatchewan, including his own Prairie Cannabis in Prince Albert.

Southam says since pandemic restrictions began, Prairie Cannabis has seen an increase of between 20 and 30 per cent. He attributes the spike to more stockpiling, something currently affecting all kinds of retailers.

“People are purchasing a little bit extra than they normally would because they know they have to stay home, and do their part to help get through this difficult time that we’re all going through,” Southam explained.

He encourages shoppers to consider local options first as many stores are offering online or delivery services alongside limited in-person pickups.

In Regina, Wiid Boutique saw steady business on April 20, but it’s far from what 420 normally entails at the shop.

“Last year we had the space next door rented out,” recalled Adrian Lichtenwald, assistant manager at the shop. “We were giving out food, we had prizes, there was all sorts of stuff going on.”

Plans were in place to make the second 420 since recreational marijuana was legalized in Canada an even bigger event. But Wiid and other shops around the province were forced to cancel their celebrations.

“It completely devastated and totaled our 420 plans to be totally honest,” Lichtenwald said. “This holiday for us at least is all about customer appreciation and making sure it’s a good time holiday.”

One 420 tradition is typically getting together to light up, something that likely won’t be happening as much in 2020. But there’s another tradition Lichtenwald does not see happening: passing around some to share.

“Even if they are going to be breaking [COVID-19] rules and smoking together, I’m thinking people are going to be smoking their own,” Lichtenwald said with a laugh.

Wiid says 2020 might be a write off, but hopes to return to their high standards for 420 festivities in 2021.