As the coronavirus continues spreading around the world, proprietors are scrambling to meet demands. The shop owners are ramping up deliveries to clients spending a lot of time at home. Hand sanitizers, toilet paper, and food are not the only things on-demand in Southern California. Marijuana is an addition to consumer stockpile.
Industry professionals are having a field day as the sales go up. The increase in demand during the coronavirus crisis has made one seller acquire two Priuses in the last week for delivery purposes. He said that he would get two more vehicles in the case that his dispensaries are shut down and will turn his store workers into drivers.
The CEO of the Glass House Group, Kyle Kazan, said:
“If you asked me a week ago if I would be buying five or six used Priuses, I’d have said, ‘Why would we be doing that?’”
His business operates four dispensaries across the state, which includes The Farmacy in Santa Barbara and Berkeley, Bud and Bloom in Santa Ana, and The Pottery in Los Angeles.
Business is Booming
“It’s pretty crazy. Cannabis, it’s the right industry to be in. It’s on fire.”
In general, the sales at Bud and Bloom spiked by almost 30% in the last seven days, according to Kandice Hawes, who is the community outreach director for the shop. This dispensary has experienced a surge in new customers and an increase in the amount that customers are spending.
On March 17, Hawes said:
“A supervisor came into the break room and said he just sold $1,500 worth of edibles to one customer.”
Consumers are restricted in the amount of cannabis they can stockpile since state laws restrict purchases by adults to an ounce of marijuana daily. For now, Bud and Bloom are yet to experience any product shortages. Nonetheless, it has had to make several changes to its operations and postpone a lot of their upcoming events.
A senior hour every morning
Hawes said that the dispensary had to cancel its free bus service for the first time in three years. The bus service brings residents from the Laguna Woods senior community to do their shopping at Bud and Bloom. Nonetheless, it is starting a ‘senior hour’ where the senior residents who are at the highest risk of contracting the virus can shop from 9-10 a.m. each morning.
There are also several sanitizer stations installed at Bud and Bloom. Rho Phyto discovered that it had all the ingredients to make hand sanitizer. Currently, it has decided to donate large containers to licensed shops and customers.
The Santa Ana shop announced that it is limiting the number of customers who can come to the store at any given time to prevent spreading coronavirus. Clients can phone in their orders to enable them to get in and out more rapidly. They are also striving to launch curbside pickup and the delivery arm of the business within days.
Sales Triple in Days
Oakland-based Ganja Goddess said that it is also enjoying robust business, especially in the last week because of coronavirus. Zachary Pitts, CEO of Ganja Goddess, commented:
“Right at the end of last week, we saw a huge uptick. Our sales have tripled in the past week. Everyone’s working overtime.”
Pitts is still not sure what has caused the increase in this demand. It might be a fear of scarcity of just people spending a lot of time at home until thus virus is subdued. Pitts said:
“Initially, I was thinking people are just worried they’re not going to be able to get some in the future, and so they were stocking up. So many people are staying at home, and cannabis is perfect for staying at home and watching Netflix.”
People afraid to go out
The general manager of a renowned Redlands-based marijuana delivery service by the name Jim said that business has increased by over 30% in the last week and expects it to double in the coming days. Jim has delivered marijuana to hundreds of customers from Calimesa to Fontana in the past two and a half years. He said:
“I’m seeing more people coming out of the woodwork and afraid to go out and interact with groups because of coronavirus, so I’m getting an increased response. I’d say it’s probably going to keep increasing. They’re concerned about being around large groups of people. They don’t like going out and want to stay indoors and see if they can weather the 14-day incubation.”
As the marijuana dispensaries and delivery services continue to strive to meet the growing demand throughout Southern California, others are also pushing the state to increase the list of the essential businesses to dispensaries.
The president of the United Cannabis Business Association, who is also the owner of The Higher Path dispensary in Sherman Oaks, Jerred Kiloh, wrote a letter on March 17 to Gov. Gavin Newsom. He requested Newson to include cannabis operators on the list of the essential businesses requiring to remain open in the wake of the COVID-19 restrictions. Kiloh said in his letter:
“Mandating legal retailers and distributors to shut down will only allow the illicit market to flourish and will expose consumers to harmful untested products. We humbly ask that you classify cannabis retailers and their supply chain partners as an essential business, just like pharmacies, so we can continue providing essential medicine to our patients/members.”