The novel Coronavirus virus first appeared in Wuhan, China and in the months since it has infected over 170,000 people and left at least 7,000 dead. Naturally, countries are taking precautions, locking down cities, and restricting travel and public meetings to curb the spread of the virus. In the U.S., states and cities are slowly shutting down, with President Trump urging people to limit themselves to groups of no more than 10 people.
As people prepare for a long period of isolation, marijuana stores have experienced a dramatic surge in sales, especially over the past weekend. Seeing as most retail outlets expect food stores and pharmacies may be shutting down in the future, and already have in some European nations, people are stocking up.
New England Treatment Access is one of the few licensed cannabis stores in Boston, and the dispensary has had to eliminate all walk-in orders due to an influx of customers. An announcement on the store’s website states that ‘in light of the current environment, we will remain open but will move to Reserve Ahead only starting on Saturday.’
Employees at Brookline Store wear latex gloves, with bottles of hand sanitizer and disinfectant spray beside each checkout station.
Higher Leaf stores in Kirkland and Bellevue, WA have also adopted a similar pre-order system to avoid overcrowding at their locations. “We will also be limiting the number of customers in the store so as to maintain a safe distance between people.
According to statewide delivery service Ganja Goddess Delivers, month by month sales traffic spiked by 20% first then by 50%. Stores and delivery services in California have reported 4/20 and Black Friday style sales volumes as people bulk up for an indeterminate isolation period.
After crunching the numbers, the cannabis data experts at Headset found that adult-use cannabis sales in Washington were up 23% on Friday, 14% on Saturday and 33% on Sunday.
In Green Cross, an adult-use cannabis store in San Francisco, many shoppers have been buying up to the legal limit (one ounce). Harborside, a store in Oakland has asked customers to order ahead online and has encouraged them to use its delivery services.
Here are a few tips for shopping during these trying times. Wear protective equipment when in enclosed spaces like stores, visit the store early to reduce exposure to others, keep six to nine feet from others and use licensed delivery if possible.
Experts say that this surge in sales could boost the bottom line of many companies that had low demand for their products. Industry players like MCTC Holdings Inc. (OTC: MCTC) may be hoping that the crisis doesn’t lead to a total shutdown since it would be a huge blow not just to the cannabis industry but the national economy as well.
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