While some Americans have been stocking toilet paper, hand sanitizer wipes, and medical masks, others have been eyeing something else to collect for the quarantine: cannabis. People from areas all over the country where weed has been legalized have been quickly trying to get their hands on the recreational drug, and sales in certain areas have never been higher (pun intended).
Many know April 20 as “4/20”, a popular non-official holiday where people from all over the world celebrate the use of marijuana. This holiday is usually met with a sales spike, but this year it was even bigger. “It’s going to be the biggest 420 ever,” stated Kyle Sherman, founder of Flowhub. Flowhub is known for providing dispensaries with payment operating system software. Flowhub has seen a 15%-20% increase in daily recreational marijuana sales, as well as a 20% increase in average transactions across their clients this April. Delivery services for cannabis have also been extremely successful recently. Weedmaps, a company that handles online orders and dispensary delivery logistics, had an order volume that was seven times higher than the same time last year (www.forbes.com/).
Both California and Washington have reported a 100% increase in cannabis sales in March of this year compared to last year and is most likely caused by the potential for federal governments to close retail locations due to the quarantine. This has been somewhat dealt with after online purchasing methods were implemented to customers.
Not everyone has this type of recreational availability, however. In places such as Chicago, some dispensaries are only selling cannabis products to medical marijuana patients to ensure there is enough to treat those who really need it (www.shepherdexpress.com/).
Several dispensaries in Illinois have closed temporarily to clean their facilities and to quarantine themselves. Dispensaries have begun cleaning and disinfecting commonly touched surfaces like tablets and door handles every 30 minutes, following the advisories set by the state of Illinois. Dispensaries also have to keep a distance of 6 feet between customers and must have separate lines for medical and recreational purchases. Medical patients have also been granted a special curbside service to avoid further spread of the coronavirus (www.chicagotribune.com).
As the quarantine progresses, no one can be sure if cannabis sales will continue to increase, but for the time being, dispensaries remain busy and vigilant to keep the quarantine under control and stock on their shelves.