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Cannabis Sales Return to Pre-pandemic Levels in the US

By Leo Bear-McGuinness

Published: Jun 08, 2020   
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Sales of recreational marijuana in the United States have started to resume pre-pandemic levels, according to the cannabis market research firm BDSA.

In states such as California and Colorado, cannabis businesses are now seeing regular sales peaks every weekend.

A return to regular highs

By March 12, 2020, the Covid-19 outbreak had officially been classified as a pandemic by the World Health Organization. A day later, thousands of cannabis dispensaries across the US saw record sales as consumers began stockpiling for the weeks ahead.

But, by late March, this profitable stockpiling period was over. For the rest of the month, and through much of April, sales of recreational cannabis plummeted well below average rates for the time of year. At their worst, multi-state sales rates were 55 percent below average around April 13, according to BDSA.

Then, as states lessened their shelter-in-place orders in late April and early May, cannabis sales started to rebound.

According to BDSA, the Friday sales seen in California increased with every passing week in May. Revenue was 40 percent above average on May 1, then up by 41 percent on May 8, up by 43 percent on May 15, and 66 percent higher than average on May 22.

This increasing trend was also seen in Colorado, although to a lesser extent; by May 22, Friday sales had peaked at 37 percent above average.

The boom in revenue appears to have come from an influx of customers returning after lockdown measures were eased. According to BDSA, the number of individual transactions reported by cannabis businesses has been increasing every week since late April.

April sales were also up in Maryland (by 101 percent), Arizona (by 49 percent), and Oregon (by 40 percent), compared with cannabis sales rates from the same month in 2019.

But sales were down in Nevada (by 30 percent compared to last April’s figures), which has been attributed to a loss of tourism.


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