As the containment decrees fall one after the other, the legal cannabis markets welcome their last customers before closure.
In Amsterdam and throughout the Netherlands, coffee shops have been ordered to close on Sunday at 6 p.m. until at least 6 April in an attempt to combat the coronavirus pandemic. Queues quickly formed outside coffee shops in the Dutch capital and elsewhere, as customers, some faced with three weeks without work or university, decided to stock up on cannabis while they still could.
Same in Barcelona. Following the postponement of Spannabis, the Clubs were able to accommodate visitors until Friday afternoon and the decree of the Spanish State of Emergency. The CSCs took turns sending out notices restricting visits and then closing down soon. The socios still on site were able to restock before the Cannabis Clubs closed completely for at least 14 days.
In the United States, where the lockdown has not yet been declared, people are preparing for the quarantine as best they can, not forgetting their weed ration. Many cannabis dealers in Los Angeles are reporting increased sales as their customers stock up before going through the epidemic.
People are in shortage mode. The streets are empty, but specific businesses such as grocery stores and clinics are seeing more people than usual – and people are buying in bulk. Said Steve Lilak, sales manager of California-based cannabis company NUG. I’ve seen regular customers buying three or four times what they normally buy in Los Angeles clinics.
Delivery services also report a massive increase in sales.
We’ve seen an increase in delivery services at all of our sites, with record sales in the last two weeks. Said a spokesperson for Caliva, another California-based chain of dispensaries that offers delivery services.
On the Canadian side, cannabis stores in Ontario and Alberta reported “unprecedented demand”. Darren Bondar, CEO of Spirit Leaf, one of the licensed cannabis distribution chains in Ontario, said that its 46 stores “experienced unprecedented demand for cannabis over the weekend with sales up 20% over the previous year and a record number of customers served.
Physical cannabis shops are already taking steps to protect the health and safety of customers and employees by promoting human distancing and delivery services. With Canadian production capacity already limited, the risks of shortages are not to be underestimated.