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The US is embracing cannabis legalization more than ever. Amid the Coronavirus Crisis, Cannabis is deemed essential business, allowing dispensaries to stay open.
Embracing The Age Of Legal Cannabis
Who would have thought it? Not only are we embracing the age of legal cannabis consumption but, amid the peak of the coronavirus crisis, cannabis is now being considered an essential, mainstream product in the U.S., with a number of states loosening regulations in order to make marijuana even more available.
The benefits that recreational cannabis consumers and medical cannabis patients gain to experience are obvious. What yet remains to be seen is the impact that coronavirus will have on cannabis sales, businesses and industry growth.
Pot shops have been given the same kind of essential status as food stores and pharmacies, inviting financial experts to predict a significant cannabis business boom in the near future. However, over the past month, figures have been up and down. We’ve seen huge increases in sales and then sudden drops in the same, indicating that the effects on cannabis businesses in the long-term is yet unclear.
Coronavirus, Cannabis, and California
California is one of those states showing high levels of support for pot shops and dispensaries, doing everything it can to ensure its citizens are able to stay sufficiently buzzed despite the lockdown. Aside from the clear intention to support the newly regulated market and all those vulnerable businesses involved, state regulators have made it clear that they want to avoid a situation in which panicked Californians become more prone to substance abuse.
As such, California’s pot shops have been classified as essential businesses. They’ve been placed in the same category as health clinics, food stores, and blood banks, and have been given permission to remain open during the shutdown.
Additional measures have also been taken to avoid unnecessary contact between consumer and dispensary employee, thus reducing further possible propagation of the virus.
As an example, dispensaries have been granted waivers that allow customers to purchase marijuana from their cars or to have the product brought to their homes without the need of a signature.
Customer and delivery employees are kept at an appropriate distance at all times and the customer is allowed to send identification in the form of a photo, via text message, instead of having to present the documentation in person.
Cannabis Sales in California, Washington and Colorado
So, let’s talk business.
According to Marijuana Business Daily, cannabis sales in California have presented incredible highs and unexpected lows. On March 2, recreational cannabis sales were up by a whopping 88% when compared to the same period last year. By March 9, figures then surged to an incredible 159% increase. But by March 21, sales slowed way down once more, representing just a 23% year-over-year increase.
Harder hit than California, cannabis sales in Washington State and Colorado have experienced a decrease on last year’s figures at -2% and -19% respectively.
Cannabis: Essential and Mainstream
Despite the recent drop in sales in some states, the coronavirus epidemic has helped to demonstrate just how mainstream cannabis actually is.
It’s as mainstream and important to our regular routines as milk, bread, shampoo, and other groceries.
According to Forbes, cannabis isn’t a luxury item for the few or a niche product for an eclectic group of stoners. Cannabis is a valued staple of American lifestyle and the coronavirus pandemic has brought this truth to light.
Expanded delivery services, curbside cannabis pickups, and permits that give doctors the authorization to issue medical cannabis recommendations via telemedicine, instead of in-person, are just some of the measures that some states have taken to loosen regulations and make cannabis more available to the consumer than ever before.
California, Colorado, Conneticut, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Washington State, have all taken significant and varying steps toward facilitating consumer and patient access to cannabis and cannabis products, acknowledging the important role these have to play in modern U.S. society at the same time.
Cannabis, Mental Immunity, and Lockdown
With gyms closed, social distancing orders in place, and an increased health risk looming in the air, it’s important to stay calm, sleep well, remain relaxed, and keep anxieties at bay. Essentially, it’s time to go indica.
Choose those strains that are designed to induce full body relax; strains that avoid the bringing on of a cerebral high. Feel free to consult our team if you’d like more information on our dedicated blue line of indicas, aptly named Evolve. We’re here to help. Stay safe, choose the right strain.