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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: 348766

Reported Deaths: 4161
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah54797689
Washington37988313
Marion36055444
Clackamas29094304
Lane26966298
Jackson22632300
Deschutes19577123
Umatilla14241144
Linn12380120
Douglas11795240
Josephine9233195
Yamhill8517110
Klamath7709110
Polk715380
Malheur551574
Benton529130
Coos489691
Columbia371343
Jefferson361450
Union313146
Lincoln310638
Wasco281540
Crook274745
Clatsop239529
Baker198028
Tillamook193328
Hood River188337
Morrow181623
Curry178122
Harney108424
Grant97612
Lake89011
Wallowa67012
Gilliam1484
Sherman1463
Wheeler991
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 4810222

Reported Deaths: 70598
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles147569426398
Riverside3693444990
San Diego3636444159
San Bernardino3563155566
Orange3227415518
Sacramento1576212279
Santa Clara1445181890
Kern1441461605
Fresno1441232051
Alameda1198871372
San Joaquin1018071708
Ventura1005241164
Contra Costa99234982
Stanislaus851571315
Tulare78945951
San Francisco54031645
San Mateo53828622
Monterey50696582
Solano45761334
Santa Barbara44836521
Merced41781577
Sonoma40711402
Placer38902415
Imperial35642764
Kings32369314
San Luis Obispo29653329
Madera23518281
Butte23364260
Shasta23360334
Santa Cruz20861218
Yolo20147247
Marin17581243
El Dorado16960149
Sutter13775169
Napa12808100
Yuba994282
Tehama9298104
Humboldt9102108
Nevada903990
Mendocino752786
Lassen746346
San Benito737372
Tuolumne673993
Lake6506104
Amador537264
Siskiyou442742
Glenn430330
Calaveras381780
Del Norte356141
Colusa301718
Inyo196739
Mono16445
Plumas15756
Mariposa127315
Trinity86011
Modoc6698
Unassigned1860
Sierra1760
Alpine1020
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