How Dispensaries Are Responding to the Growing Demand for Cannabis
Our lives have all been upended recently, in some way, due to COVID-19. And as we all continue to shelter in place, biding our time with hobbies and snacks — so many snacks — business owners are getting creative to meet consumer demand and keep workers safe.
While inevitably this task has been easier for some industries than others, there’s no denying that Coronavirus cannabis sales have steadily increased. From curb-side pickup to cannabis delivery, cannabis consumption across the largest markets in our country (Colorado, Washington, California, and Nevada) have reported anywhere from a 19% increase in Colorado to as much as 51% in Washington year-over-year for the month of April.
To get an even better sense of our country’s quarantine cannabis habits, we’ve asked individuals from every corner of the Cannabis industry to weigh in on the trends they’ve experienced, firsthand. First up: Dexter Parker.
Dexter is the General Manager of Mary & Main Dispensary in Capitol Heights, Maryland. While Dexter’s dispensary is strictly medical, he and his team have seen an increase in business as well as other shifts in purchase habits.
Read our quick Q&A with Dexter to get industry insights into Coronavirus cannabis trends and what to expect from dispensary inventory as you stock up throughout the pandemic:
How have your cannabis purchasing tendencies changed since the beginning of the pandemic?
Dexter: We as a dispensary have increased purchases, but we have also started to carry more affordable flower options for patients who have lost, or are furloughed from, their jobs. Equally as important, most growers and processors have lowered costs, which allows us to lower patient costs, as well.
Cannabis delivery services have become increasingly popular as everyone stays home, how do you think delivery will change the cannabis industry?
Dexter: I think delivery has always been a great option. It will help those aging patients and patients that are unable to travel to the dispensary. Hopefully it will make the medication more accessible.
How Cannabis Consumption Habits Have Shifted in Shutdown
As a countercyclical product with medical benefits, it perhaps isn’t surprising that cannabis is having its moment in the sun. What is a bit surprising, however, is the data on shifting cannabis consumption trends in these major markets.
To get a sense of the mindset of cannabis users during COVID, we spoke with one mother and cannabis consumer, Lorna, to see how her habits have changed and where she’s shopping online for cannabis:
Once shelter in place orders hit your area, did you stock up on cannabis?
Lorna: I didn’t at first, however my husband was a delivery driver for a cannabis company where I would get products. Unfortunately, the business closed and I just ran out of products. I’m looking to stock up now.
Were there any products you bought for the first time?
Lorna: I’m online looking now and am interested in trying a few different types of products. There is a vape that has a nice blend I’m interested in.
How have your consuming habits changed as you shelter in place with your family?
Lorna: Yes it is making it a little more difficult. If I’m not in the main part of the house for a while, my kids are looking for me. So I make my sessions shorter.
How has consuming cannabis helped you cope with shelter-in-place?
Lorna: It definitely eases my anxiety and helps calm me down. It helps give me a life break from the worries and stresses. Additionally, it helps me gather my composure to help teach my kids.
Have you tried any cannabis delivery services since the quarantine?
Lorna: I’m in the process of ordering from Kovis now. I normally order from Ease but it’s closed.
Have your consumption habits increased or decreased in quarantine?
Lorna: I would say my habits increased because I’m home more and not driving, or worried about having to go places.
How are you consuming cannabis with kids in the house?
Lorna: It’s difficult but I do sneak off to my room for shorter, more frequent breaks and pretend I’m doing laundry.
As some states begin lifting their shelter-in-place orders allowing nonessential businesses to reopen, cannabis consumption and dispensary sales will continue to change. Sign up for the 421 Club to get news, tips, and special offers delivered straight to your inbox.
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