As restaurants and many small businesses across the country brace for a rough road ahead due to new government restrictions amid the coronavirus outbreak, an industry that seems to have a spike in sales is the cannabis sector. That might have a lot to do with the high stress levels many Americans are experiencing during this uncertain time.
Leafly has created a tracking portal to identify what local cannabis stores in your area are open and available for delivery.
On Saturday, WGBH in Boston reported lines wrapping around the New England Treatment Access (NETA) in Brookline, which is one of the few licensed cannabis stores operating in Massachusetts.
Due to the increased demand, the dispensary has eliminated walk-ins and will only fulfill orders made in advance.
“In light of the current environment, we will remain open,” an announcement on the NETA website reads “but will move to Reserve Ahead only starting on Saturday.”
The first dispensary in the Boston area, My Pure Oasis, has decided to enforce social distancing in shop lines to do its part in minimizing the spread of COVID-19.
Local cannabis dispensaries in Los Angeles -- Lowell Farms, Caliva, Sweet Flower and Sherbinskis -- say that demand is high. Many residents are saying they are stocking up to combat anxieties, similar to those hoarding toilet paper and bottled water.
"People are in scarcity mode," Steve Lilak, the head of sales for California cannabis company NUG, told The Hollywood Reporter. "The streets are emptier, but specific businesses like grocery stores and dispensaries are seeing more people than usual — and people are stocking up and purchasing in bulk. I've seen regular customers buying three or four of what they normally buy just one of in L.A. dispensaries."
In the Netherlands, people were loading up on cannabis before the country issued a mandatory closing of "coffee shops" on Sunday amid the spread of COVID-19. The Netherlands reopened those coffee shops Tuesday. The country has 2,051 confirmed cases with 58 fatalities.
As many governors and mayors across the country issue stricter restrictions on restaurants and retail business, none that have legal recreational usage in their states have added specific restrictions to cannabis shops.