DENVER — Add marijuana to the list of essential supplies Americans are stocking up on as they prepare to confront the coronavirus outbreak.
“Apparently people need weed and toilet paper, that I am sure of,” said a laughing Wanda James, 56, who owns the Simply Pure dispensary in Denver. “They are absolutely stocking up.”
James said her store normally gets about 200 customers a day. Monday, that jumped to 300 customers, and there was no sign of business slowing down Tuesday, she said. Customers are looking to relax and relieve their pain at a time when they may be stuck with family members for weeks on end, she said.
“We have a huge uptick of people and they’re purchasing larger amounts of cannabis,” she added.
Authorities across the United States and Canada are urging residents to limit their public exposure to the coronavirus, in many cases asking people to stay in their homes and skip bars and restaurants and other social gatherings.
The sharp rise in sales is a pattern being repeated across the country in states where recreational marijuana is legal, from California to Oregon, Alaska to Nevada. Not only are there more customers, but they’re buying more at one time. The same trend is also being reported in Canada, where marijuana became legal nationwide in 2018.
In Washington state, sales soared by 33% on Sunday, compared to the week prior, reported cannabis data and analytics firm Headset, which said the average per-person purchase rose to $33.70. The company said the number of customers buying more than $50 worth of cannabis products at a time jumped from 16% to 21% in a week.