Marijuana sales spike during COVID-19 pandemic

Marijuana sales spike during coronavirus pandemic.

Posted: Apr 20, 2020 4:37 PM
Updated: Apr 20, 2020 6:54 PM

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.

Confirmed Cases: 4335

Reported Deaths: 157
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Multnomah118161
Marion98126
Washington74718
Clackamas31711
Deschutes1270
Umatilla1213
Linn1189
Polk10012
Lane773
Yamhill707
Jackson670
Benton565
Clatsop450
Jefferson440
Klamath440
Malheur320
Coos310
Douglas270
Wasco261
Josephine241
Hood River220
Lincoln170
Columbia160
Morrow120
Curry70
Union60
Tillamook60
Crook60
Wallowa20
Lake20
Sherman10
Harney10
Grant10
Baker10
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 117215

Reported Deaths: 4305
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles572192448
Riverside8155342
San Diego7554269
Orange6574150
San Bernardino5501208
Alameda351597
Santa Clara2819143
San Francisco258743
Kern237639
San Mateo218884
Tulare200489
Fresno188236
Imperial179829
Santa Barbara166912
Contra Costa150637
Sacramento143958
Ventura116434
Kings11375
San Joaquin98235
Stanislaus75029
Monterey57110
Sonoma5664
Solano54622
Marin50115
Merced3017
San Luis Obispo2781
Placer2289
Santa Cruz2172
Yolo21324
Madera1143
Napa1133
Humboldt1023
El Dorado960
San Benito882
Butte511
Sutter462
Del Norte460
Nevada421
Shasta394
Mono371
Mendocino300
Yuba301
Lake260
Inyo201
Glenn170
Mariposa161
Calaveras150
Amador100
Siskiyou80
Colusa70
Lassen50
Tehama51
Plumas40
Tuolumne40
Alpine20
Sierra10
Trinity10
Unassigned00
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