The widespread global outbreak of COVID-19, also known as the coronavirus, has put a tight strain on many industries. However, one field that isn’t being negatively impacted is the marijuana industry.
In states where recreational marijuana is legalized, cities like San Francisco have deemed cannabis dispensaries as essential businesses that can remain open during the current citywide lockdown to contain the virus and keep it from spreading.
“Cannabis is an essential medicine for many San Francisco residents,” the health department tweeted on March 17. “Dispensaries can continue to operate as essential businesses during this time, while practicing social distancing and other public health recommendations.”
Many businesses in the industry have been experiencing a surge in deliveries during the quarantine. “A supervisor came into the break room and said he just sold $1,500 worth of edibles to one customer,” Kandice Hawes, a spokesperson for the Bud and Bloom dispensary based in Los Angeles, told the Orange County Register. The store has seen a 30% increase in sales since last week.
In Washington state, marijuana sales have increased by 33% compared to the week prior. New data from Headset suggests the amount per purchase has increased to $33.70 with the number of people buying more than $50 worth of weed going from 16% to 21% in one week.
Similar trends are being experienced in other cities with relaxed laws as well. According to a report in New York Magazine, underground services are seeing on an average day, at least 60 deliveries, making on average $8,000–$9,000. “[My sources] both said in light of corona, they’re hitting holiday season type of traffic, $10,000 today,” Zach Sokol, managing editor of Merry Jane, told the magazine in an interview. “I don’t know if they have the option. They sell a premium product; you only have so long before it dries out and it’s not worth what you’re selling it for.”