Coronavirus Boosts Cannabis Sales Across the US

People are hoarding cannabis as the COVID-19 outbreak forces everyone to go into lockdown at home, perhaps for a long time.
Written by 
Luca Marani, Cannabis Educator.
|Last Updated:
Cannabis flowering

Stocking up… for staying in

Many US-based cannabis companies have seen record sales over the past weeks, and the trend is not signaling any upcoming halt. Shortly after Trump declared a national emergency around COVID-19 and one day after the World Health Organization officially announced that we are going through a pandemic, sales started to increase steadily for many brands, who are seeing a constant increment in orders placed on their online outlets.And customers are indeed actually stockpiling product: many distributors and companies witnessed a 20% increase in the average purchase made by their customer base.

While many dispensaries haven’t yet experienced the consequences the coronavirus crisis has on the supply-chain, that could change rapidly, depending on the duration of the shutdown. On the one hand, there are many adults using cannabis purely for recreational purposes, on the other, there is people who rely on dispensaries for prescribed medicine. For the latter, cannabis dispensaries should definitely fall within the ‘essential services’ category. And, of course, given the state-level legalization deployed in the US, in some states that can be enforced, while in others not.

Some thrive, others struggle

The city of San Francisco, California, for example, has permitted cannabis dispensaries to stay open for medical patients, after initially including them in the citywide shutdown over the weekend; in general, many dispensaries around the US and Canada switched to online only.

Cannabis-delivery service, also, saw a significant increment in their sales, over the past few weeks.Some argue that customers are concerned that soon their favorite products will just be unavailable.

Similarly to what we reported a while ago about MedMen’s measures against the COVID-19 crisis, the majority of delivery services implemented health safety norms in their routine. Drivers are provided with sterile gloves and alcohol-based hand sanitizers, and they are instructed to disinfect products and surfaces like door handles between each delivery.

However, because of the lack of federal regulation, the COVID-19 outbreak is facing smaller companies with more obstacles than what a temporary increase in sales could handle. Unlike California, Colorado, for example, does not yet permit cannabis delivery. Customers in Colorado have the possibility to order online, but they have to go themselves to the dispensary for pick-up. Many companies are still in an incubation phase where having stores be closed for an indefinite amount of time implies a direct threat to the livelihood of employees and, ultimately, of the company itself.

Luca Marani
Luca Marani
Cannabis Educator
Luca Marani is an educator and content creator from Italy. He graduated in 2017 from Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona, Spain, with a Master of Arts in Political Philosophy, writing a dissertation on what was the state of the medical cannabis legislative framework in Spain at the time, and how it affected the rights of the Spanish medical cannabis users community to dignity and quality of life.

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