The coronavirus COVID-19 has many in the country on edge, working from home, and ordering lots of delivery weed. Cannabis deliveries near me have spiked due to coronavirus fears and major events being cancelled internationally.
This is to be expected. In times of economic downturn, sales increase for “vice” industries such as alcohol and tobacco. Marijuana use increased in the European economic recession of 2008. The United States hasn’t seen a downturn quite like this one since cannabis has become legal in many states.
Some companies report a rise in sales
While the data for the month is still being collected, cannabis companies across the country have confirmed to Green Entrepreneur a rise in sales.
Some theories as to why: Many consumers are stockpiling products perhaps because, much like toilet paper, cannabis goes pretty quickly. In addition, consumers are using cannabis to deal with the mounting anxiety and potentially trauma-triggering fears that a pandemic brings with it.
“We’re seeing an increase in sales over the last two weeks as news of COVID-19’s continues to spread,” says Rick Bakas, co-founder at Flowsent, a San Francisco-based delivery company that caters to the northern region of the state. “We’re going into a weekend where two major trends are intersecting—coronavirus has reached pandemic status and a major rain system is moving into the state. This week we saw major events, including March Madness cancelled. That’s giving our customers a good excuse to stay home.”
“In terms of coronavirus, we’ve definitely observed a spike in sales for products that promote sleep and wellness, as those are important factors to supporting one’s immune system,” says Kiana Anvaripour, Chief Marketing Officer of Sweet Flower, a Los Angeles-based cannabis dispensary with three storefronts as well as a delivery service.
Sweet Flower noticed an increase in sales, especially over the weekends. “Because of the virus, consumers are worried about scarcity, which is likely why they are purchasing more product than usual,” Anvaripour says. “I also think that many of our customers are turning to our cannabis offerings to promote mental wellness and ease their minds in the midst of the nationwide panic.”
Weed deliveries up
Sales aren’t the only thing going up in the cannabis industry. With social distancing the new social norm, weed delivery is on the rise. Bakas reports a spike-level increase in new customers and repeat customers buying higher-than-normal multiples of items purchased in the past.
“We know that many cannabis users rely on our products and services for their ongoing well-being, so having a delivery option that can continue to service them during these unprecedented times is something we’re proud to keep up and running,” says Allan, adding that, “the safety of our own employees and our community [is] front of mind.”
Sweet Flower’s Anvaripour says the spike in delivery is noticeable. “This is likely results from consumers avoiding contact within physical retail locations,” says Anvaripour. “We’re taking all of the necessary precautions and measures to ensure a safe and clean environment for all of our guests and staff – for both our in-store experience and delivery service.”
One of her theories is that the once cannabis-curious customers are now converting into frequent users, resulting in a steady climb. “During the ‘vape crisis’ a few months ago, we saw a bit of a switch between vapes to flower, which we welcomed. But that was only for a short period of time,” says Anvaripour. “As a company, we wanted to educate people on the differences between black market vapes and high-quality and cannabis-derived terpenes, so we dedicated the whole month of January to clean vaping with educational events.” She says the company will continue to ensure that its customers feel safe.
Original story by Lindsey Bartlett of Entrepreneur