Marijuana sales spike during COVID-19 pandemic

Marijuana sales spike during coronavirus pandemic.

Posted: Apr 20, 2020 4:37 PM
Updated: Oct 1, 2020 9:50 AM

The coronavirus pandemic has brought a lot of changes for multiple industries, including the marijuana industry.

Today is 4/20, a day that is usually full of large crowds gathering to celebrate the legalization of marijuana. Typically, it causes a spike in cannabis sales and consumption but this year will be different with social distancing orders in place and large groups prohibited from gathering. However, the changes certainly didn’t slow down the marijuana industry, in fact, according to the OLCC, it brought a big boost.

“Over the beginning of first quarter we’ve seen a bigger boom,” said Brie Malarkey, the Managing Partner at Breeze Botanicals, “I think people are really stocking up.”

The Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC) says marijuana sales were up 30% in March, compared to last year; making March 2020 the largest month on record for the state.

“You hear it all over the news with alcohol and cannabis,” said Malarkey, “I think people are just wanting to relax and take away some of the pressure and stress.”

In all, Oregon residents spent about $84 million on marijuana sales in March 2020, that’s quite the increase compared to February’s $69.5 million.

Mark Pettinger, a spokesman for the OLCC, told NewsWatch 12 there was a “distinct uptick in the week right before the stay-at-home.”

In March the OLCC made temporary changes to help make legal marijuana accessible throughout Gov. Kate Brown’s “Stay home, save lives,” executive order.

“OLCC was really responsive,” said Malarkey, “I’ve ben really please with OLCC. They’ve really been listening to the needs of the industry and to consumers.”

One of the major changes allows alcohol and marijuana licensees to accept expired Oregon driver licenses or identification cards that expired on or after March 8th. That decision aligns with the DMV, which closed offices during COVID-19 effectively making it impossible to get a renewed license.

The OLCC has also approved a temporary rule that allows licensed marijuana retailers to take order and deliver product. The rule also increases the amount of flower that OMMP cardholders and caregivers can purchase to 24 ounces per day and no more than 32 ounces per month. This change temporarily increases the daily purchase limit for OMMP cardholders to match their personal possession limit. This rule does not change the total monthly amount a cardholder or caregiver is currently permitted to purchase from an OLCC-licensed retailer.

In California, there hasn’t been changes in regulations outside of Governor Gavin Newsom’s executive order that declares marijuana dispensaries essential businesses.

Siskiyou county sheriff, Jon Lopey says he’s seen an increase in marijuana use in the county and has deputies watching for drivers under the influence of marijuana, especially today on 4/20.

“It’s a symbolic day, especially after 4:20p.m. It’s encouraging people to get together and to consumer marijuana in celebration of this symbolic day,” said Lopey, “My concern is that we could have groups of people gathering and consuming marijuana products and because we are a big county a lot of the time these people are operating a motor vehicle.”

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 154878

Reported Deaths: 2206
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah31824528
Washington21099212
Marion18373285
Clackamas13328175
Lane10200126
Jackson8315111
Umatilla763982
Deschutes593459
Yamhill376764
Linn357756
Malheur334458
Polk303942
Klamath278455
Douglas244754
Josephine232849
Benton232516
Jefferson195128
Coos144019
Union128119
Columbia124821
Wasco122026
Lincoln112820
Hood River106429
Morrow104614
Clatsop7756
Crook77518
Baker6507
Curry4246
Tillamook4142
Lake3746
Harney2736
Grant2221
Wallowa1424
Gilliam531
Sherman530
Wheeler221
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 3559311

Reported Deaths: 51794
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles118923221241
Riverside2894503767
San Bernardino2860772783
Orange2607213982
San Diego2589823260
Santa Clara1102371777
Kern102627811
Fresno950151422
Sacramento929611464
Alameda802791241
Ventura77395834
San Joaquin665691082
Contra Costa62164674
Stanislaus55887946
Tulare47784746
Monterey42138327
San Mateo38872515
San Francisco34138398
Santa Barbara31763407
Solano30024164
Merced28915395
Sonoma28004298
Imperial26855589
Kings21951218
Placer19763232
San Luis Obispo19612227
Madera15414209
Santa Cruz14588183
Marin13136197
Yolo12787185
Shasta10969174
Butte10922160
El Dorado9095100
Napa899869
Sutter884597
San Benito575259
Yuba573336
Lassen560119
Tehama508152
Tuolumne394659
Nevada394074
Mendocino379643
Amador344841
Humboldt318033
Lake314140
Glenn221923
Colusa212813
Calaveras190547
Siskiyou174014
Inyo128736
Mono12114
Del Norte9875
Plumas6536
Modoc4524
Mariposa3957
Trinity3675
Sierra990
Alpine810
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