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Cannabis Sales Are Steady — for Now

People stocked up before lockdowns went into effect, and delivery is strong — but as the coronavirus pandemic progresses, cannabis businesses aren’t in the clear...

Katan Eaza

On a rainy evening in Los Angeles, the flagship store for Genius, a cannabis brand catering to hipsters and tourists on Melrose Avenue, is empty. A lone budtender wearing latex gloves stands behind glass display cases in the middle of the showroom, surrounded by vapes and edibles and jars of flower. An occasional passerby glances into the bright storefront, then hurries past. “Last Saturday was actually our busiest day in months,” the night manager Billy says. He brightens up as three young people enter the shop, and asks to see their IDs. “What are you guys buying tonight?” “Packwoods,” says one of them, pointing to the potent kief-dipped blunts on a glass shelf. The budtender rings them up, and they duck out into the night.

The impact of coronavirus on the cannabis industry is difficult to measure at this early stage. According to a report in Marijuana Business Daily, consumers have stocked up on weed and are staying home. Eaze, a cannabis delivery service that operates in California and Oregon, has seen a recent spike in commerce, says company spokesperson Elizabeth Ashford. Leafly reports that cannabis stores are experiencing a dramatic surge in sales, with customers lining up outside New England Treatment Access (NETA) in Brookline, Massachusetts. But Eli McVey, a senior analyst for Marijuana Business Daily, says cannabis sales are “about ordinary” right now: “If I didn’t know coronavirus was happening, there’s not a lot that would say to me, ‘There’s something going on here.’”


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