As U.S. citizens begin to prepare for social isolation efforts aimed at reducing the spread of COVID-19, or the coronavirus, dispensaries in adult-use states have reported surges in both online sales and foot traffic. News outlets from around the country have displayed empty grocery store shelves as Americans stockpiled toilet paper and non-perishables, but food and supplies are not the only items flying off store shelves.
“After they filled their pantries, it seems consumers went out and filled their stash boxes too,” said Liz Connors, Director of Analytics at Headset.
“Sales of adult-use cannabis in Washington were up 23% on Friday, 14% on Saturday, and 33% on Sunday (over prior week). This was driven by a modest increase in total baskets (about 6% increase in tickets) and a large increase in average basket. Average baskets on Sunday were $33.70 before taxes, up 22% over the prior week and 28% compared to baskets in Jan and Feb of this year. The increase in average basket size was driven by increases in stock-up baskets with over 21% of baskets being greater than $50 (before taxes) compared to only 16% in the prior week.” — Connors, in a statement
Leafly reports that some Washington dispensaries have switched to a mandatory pre-order system to cut back on the length of customers’ stays, while the Have a Heart dispensary in Seattle is offering a 10% discount on all online orders. Cannabis delivery services in California, meanwhile, are reportedly booming — delivery options are particularly popular in the San Francisco Bay Area, where officials from six counties have issued a mandatory “shelter in place” order for the next three weeks.
Brick-and-mortar sales were also up in California, but not as drastically — residents in and around Boston, Massachusetts, however, flocked to cannabis shops to prepare for a potential quarantine.
According to the report, the coronavirus dispensary rush is somewhat reminiscent of the usual 4/20 or Thanksgiving weekend spikes in retail cannabis sales.