While others stock up on toilet paper and bottled water, consumers in Los Angeles, California are stocking up on top-shelf cannabis. Despite the threat of COVID-19 looming in every state in the nation, skyrocketing sales in one of the industry’s largest markets is a silver lining that no one expected to see.
Steve Lilak is the head of sales for California-based cannabis company NUG. “People are in scarcity mode,” Lilak told The Hollywood Reporter. “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 in L.A. dispensaries.”
Popular dispensary chains such as MedMen or Greenwolf LA are all seeing a flux of customers as panic sets in the heavily populated area of Greater Los Angeles. The rise in sales could be attributed to the sense of urgency that leads to anxiety.
“Because of the virus, consumers are worried about scarcity which is likely why they are purchasing more products than usual. 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,” Sweet Flower CMO Kiana Anvaripour said.
On March 11, California Governor Gavin Newsom announced that gatherings of more than 250 people are cancelled and will be banned. Then the next day, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti reduced the maximum count at events to 50 people. But this trend of limiting the headcount at events isn’t at all limited to California. Similar bans on large events have been implemented in Washington, New York and a number of other states.