Cannabis Sales Are on the Rise Due to Coronavirus

Published on March 23, 2020

People need cannabis right now. They need it badly. Due to the coronavirus, the cannabis industry seems to be one of the few businesses to not only be surviving but booming right now. The demand for legalized cannabis is rising during these hard times.

The State of California

Governor Gavin Newsom ordered 40 million residents in California not to leave their homes unless for essentials. Newsom closed down bars, restaurants, gyms, and other major gatherings. One business he deemed a necessity? Marijuana dispensaries, which for patients in serious need of medical cannabis, that was the right call. Dispensaries are shortening their hours, of course, but they remain open for now. Considering how much tax money state governments see from cannabis, closing down stores would be another blow to the economy it doesn’t need.

MedMen’s Response

MedMen is basically the Apple Store for cannabis. It’s sleek, fancy, and grossly overpriced — but their products are generally strong and reliable. MedMen owns 33 stories across the United States with a dozen in California. As long as the dispensaries remain “an essential business,” according to a MedMen rep, they’ll remain open (Source: Yahoo):

 “As of now, we have been deemed an essential business in the markets that have established protocol,” Christian Langbein, the company’s spokesperson says. “We are closely following recent guidelines released by each state and local jurisdiction, plus that of the CDC and the WHO in the best interest of our customers and employees and have adopted the recommended safety protocol.”

Considering there are over 240,000 cannabis jobs in the United States, the fact that stores remain open means many lucky employees won’t get furloughed or lose out on work. As for their safety, dispensaries across the country are limiting the amount of customers in their stores. Some stores are making employees wash hands after every transaction, too.

Sales Are Up

According to dispensaries, sales are going up as a result of the coronavirus. During these stressful and uncertain times, people seriously need to smoke to ease their minds, anxiety, and any of their physical discomfort. According to the CEO of Colorado’s Medicine Men, Sally Vander Veer, sales are on the rise: 

“Our numbers are significantly higher than they would normally be this time of year. For the most part, we’re seeing customers who are grateful that were open because they can get their medicine.”

Vander Veer added customers aren’t hoarding or panic buying, but business has definitely seen a boost. 

Online Orders

Many dispensaries across the country, like Medicine Men, are encouraging online orders. There’s an array of delivery services in states with legalized cannabis. Assuming you know where to buy weed online, it’s the safest way to buy cannabis at the moment, according to Vander Veer: 

We’re encouraging online orders. So customers can go to our website site, place an order and it will be ready for them to pick up at our store. They can be in and out in 30 seconds. On the floor of our dispensaries, we have tape that to ensure that we’re maintaining six feet of distance between every customer. All of our budtenders are wearing gloves and using hand sanitizer or washing their hands in between each transaction.”

A Story From a Dispensary 

People, at least in California, are absolutely hoarding cannabis like toilet paper or groceries. Stores shelves aren’t as full as they once were. Lines are forming outside of dispensaries before they even open their doors for business. Recently, I paid a visit to a dispensary and cannabis was flying off the shelves. Shelves were empty. Hours after the store had begun restocking, shelves were still empty. Employees couldn’t help but laugh at the surrealness of it all.

Obviously, there’s nothing funny about what’s going on in the world right now; the increase in demand for cannabis is more understandable than funny. Anxiety and stress are skyrocketing like cannabis sales. People need to smoke and, hopefully for a little bit, relax and ease their troubles.

Jack Giroux is a Staff Writer at Grit Daily. Based in Los Angeles, he is an entertainment journalist who's previously written for Thrillist, Slash Film, Film School Rejects, and The Film Stage.

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