While Coronavirus fears and precautions have made much of the economy ill, one California industry says that profits are staying high.
Cannabis business in the Golden State, including Lowell Farms, Caliva, Sweet Flower and Sherbinski, all say that demand has risen in recent days, as many have been forced to work from home and countless public gatherings have faced cancellations. Steve Lilak, the head of sales at NUG, a California cannabis company, says that many in the LA area are turning to pot to relieve anxiety during this unprecedented emergency.
“People are in scarcity mode,” says Lilak. “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…”
A spokesperson for Lowell Farms, a marijuana label behind Los Angeles’ popular Cannabis Café, told Hollywood Reporter that it’s seen “a slight uptick” in the sale of pre-rolled joints, “potentially due to calming effect of cannabis and benefits of assisting anxiety.”
Calexo, a new line of effervescent cannabis beverages that sells at $20 a bottle, also anticipates a rise in sales this week. CEO Brandon Andrew says he expects sales to be “swift, especially as people look for ways to cope with fear of the pandemic.” He added, “people can adhere to social distancing by ordering through delivery from a dispensary like Sweet Flower on Melrose.”
Seeing even more success are pot delivery services like Caliva, which claims double-digit growth in March alone. “We have seen an increase in our delivery services across all of our locations, with record-breaking sales over the past two weeks,” says president Steve Allan.
Though it’s unclear how long the panic over COVID-19 will last, fear has been a big motivator for consumers, who have stocked up on necessities like toilet paper, hand-sanitizer, and bottled water. But in Southern California, it appears that hedonism is an economic motivator too.