Despite an initial rush to stockpile cannabis products before social distancing kicked off in earnest, adult-use cannabis sales have plummeted throughout the U.S. as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Marijuana Business Daily reports.
Dispensaries reported a significant boost in business following official stay-at-home orders in adult-use markets such as Washington and California. It’s possible that the sales drop is a natural result from that strong stockpiling trend.
“We definitely saw some panic buying last week. Folks were stocking up.” — Logan Bowers, co-owner of Seattle-based Hashtag Cannabis, via MJBizDaily.com
Another likely reason, however, is that consumers are experiencing — or are expecting to experience — economic woes tied to the pandemic as “nonessential” businesses are shuttered for the outbreak, which could lead to millions of laid-off Americans. According to the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis President James Bullard, the national unemployment rate could skyrocket to as high as 30% before the economy turns around.
The cannabis industry in most states has been allowed to stay open and serve medical and, where legal, adult-use customers. Businesses have nonetheless enacted extreme social distancing measures in response to the virus: across the country, cannabis storefronts are largely either closed or offering limited service, with many dispensaries opting toward online/pickup sales, delivery, and/or curbside services.
Massachusetts was the first state so far to completely halt adult-use sales (although the state’s medical cannabis patients can still access the industry).