As schools, restaurants, retail outlets, and certain government services across the U.S. have begun temporary closures to slow the spread of Coronavirus, or COVID-19, some marijuana dispensaries have either followed suit or announced intentions to change their menu of services.
With Americans anticipating weeks of social isolation and further closures, legal marijuana dispensaries across the country have seen a big surge in sales. The sales spike applies both to in-person visits to dispensaries—where the weekend saw long lines—and to cannabis delivery services. In California, medical and adult-use delivery companies report sales increases between 20 and 100 percent.
In lieu of closing, some dispensaries have announced their intentions to curtail walk-in sales and limit their services to order-ahead and delivery options. Others, like NETA Care in Brookline, Massachusetts, have opted to serve medical patients only for the moment.
In addition to the CDC guidelines pertaining to hygiene and social distancing, you can take steps to minimize your risk during this challenging time.
Order from legal medical marijuana delivery services instead of visiting retail stores if possible
Order online if you must visit a dispensary; consider wearing disposable gloves and a face mask if you are in a group that’s statistically more vulnerable to COVID-19 (includes people over 65 and those with pre-existing heart disease, diabetes, and lung disease)
Avoid sharing medical marijuana tools such as vaporizers, pipes, or joints
Consider non-inhalation modes of consumption like tinctures or edibles to keep your lungs at their healthiest
Do your best to minimize stress
According to cannabis industry tracker, New Frontier Data, the legal cannabis market in the U.S. accounted for $13.6 billion in sales in 2019, which represents a nearly 32 percent increase over the previous year. Six billion of those dollars went to medical marijuana sales and $7.6 billion was spent on adult-use cannabis. Before the COVID-19 crisis ramped up, the legal industry in the U.S. was projected to grow by about $4 billion more in 2020.
It remains to be seen how the global pandemic will affect the cannabis industry in the longer term, but for now, demand remains high.