VANCOUVER — A week after listing the cannabis Christmas calendar for sale in the Coast to Coast Medicinals online shop, Lorilee Fedler was beginning to wonder if it was a silly idea. There had been few orders for the novelty product, a twist on the traditional advent calendar that swaps the candy for marijuana and cannabis-infused edibles.
But then the media discovered the cannabis calendar and, soon after her product was featured at several outlets, the orders started pouring in.
“I don’t know how they found us,” she said.
“All of a sudden, everybody, even the people who were like, oh whatever, all of a sudden when it got publicity, everyone’s like, I changed my mind, I want it.”
“I’m so shocked.”
Fedler, who is the founder of her unlicensed cannabis company as well as its sole employee, was prepared to do a small run of the calendars.
“I was like, I’m gonna shoot for 30, I can handle putting that together,” she said.
She was ill-prepared, by her own admission, to assemble between 700 and 800, which is how many orders she finds herself scrambling to fill now.
A week into December, with the majority of orders yet to ship, it’s safe to say most customers won’t be seeing their Christmas calendar until the season is over.
A notice on the Coast to Coast Medicinals website now reads: “Due to the unexpected sales of our advent calendar, we will require an additional 48 hours to process incoming orders.”
Fedler says one calendar can take as much as 20 minutes to make.
“You actually have to glue them together, make the stickers, and then I have to number them. It does take quite a bit of time.”
Friends and family have stepped in to help, but between jobs and holiday-season commitments, the additional staffing is intermittent.
“Everyone is kinda tag-teaming and taking turns helping me, because they’re all working their regular full-time jobs,” she said.
Fedler has fielded some angry calls, but fortunately, marijuana users are a very relaxed bunch. Many don’t seem to mind that they won’t be getting the calendar in time for Christmas, Fedler says, so long as they get it eventually.
“Since the 15th or whenever we got picked up, people are still calling, like, ‘I don’t care if I don’t have it for Christmas, we just want it.’ You monsters are gonna be the death of me,” she said, laughing. “I think they don’t understand the work that goes into it.”
Fedler said she’ll be changing up the operation for next year. She plans to hire more staff, as well as outsource some of the production ahead of time.
“Next year I’m gonna be smarter and have these premade,” she said. “But you never know. How was I supposed to know? If I would have prepared for this, I would have sold 20 or 30.”