In the brief history of legalized cannabis, nothing has stimulated dispensary sales numbers quite like COVID-19 preppers. Now, a week after a record day, the industry looks to the future.
Last Monday, as word of pending lockdown orders spread throughout California, consumers rushed to their local dispensaries. Unsure of how the cannabis supply chain would be affected, they bought huge amounts.
“Every single day has been busier than 4/20,” People’s OC dispensary in Santa Ana told L.A. Weekly.
Sales last Monday in California were 56 percent higher than the preceding four Mondays.
Many retailers said Monday was their biggest day in the business, no matter how long they had been open. Business kept up through the week, depending on the dispensary.
“Over the latter half of last week and into the weekend we saw the winds shift dramatically in some states,” Headset’s founder Cy Scott told L.A. Weekly. “The stock-up behaviors demonstrated early last week cooled off by the weekend, especially in California.”
In fact, Weedmaps experienced the highest number of orders placed through the site in the company’s history last Friday. At the end of the day, they were at 235.75 percent of 2019’s 4/20 figure.
“With a little over a week left in March, we’ve already seen a 73 percent increase in unique customer orders than in the entire month of February,” Weedmaps’ communications director Travis Rexroad told us.
The longtime providers at Alternative Herbal Health Services in West Hollywood were happy to see the city and state take steps to preserve the cannabis supply chain by declaring dispensaries essential, but their main concern is with the most at-risk populations they provide medicine. According to AHHS owner Jason Beck, it was also fair to say they also rode the wave of consumers statewide rushing to secure longer-term supplies of marijuana than usual.
“Our main goal is that we’re open and we’re providing services to our most vulnerable and most needy members of the community,” Beck said. Beck pointed to the combination of long-term supply and foot traffic. “We had a lot of traffic and people buying up, but how that translates into the following weeks we’re not really sure yet. Nonetheless, we’re just glad to be able to remain in operation,” he said.