News On The Green: Essential Medicine

August March
3 min read
(Gordon Johnson)
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A New High

According to recently published reports in
the New York Post—like just a day ago seems forever during these endemic days—cannabis sales in the United States and Canada have increased as consumers stockpile the magic substance in the wake of the global COVID-19 pandemic.

According to yesterday’s story in the
Post, there has been a 50 percent increase in sales of recreational cannabis here and in our Canuck neighbor to the north; that’s an increase of more than 40 percent over last year, according to data gleaned from Flowhub.

Canada, in fact, has been a big player in the recent increase. In the province of Ontario, where online purchases can take place, the Canadian Government’s web shop has seen a huge rise in sales and Ontario Cannabis Store director of communications Daffyd Roderick said that sales last weekend were twice as high as they were just two weeks ago, before the global COVID-19 crisis fully emerged.

Meanwhile, in Nova Scotia, Cannabis sales skyrocketed. They rose just more than 75 percent during the past week, according the the provincial agency that regulates cannabis in that part of Canada, the Nova Scotia Liquor Commission.

While reports from New Mexico—where only medical marijuana is legal—are just coming in, they seem to reflect the same trend. According to an employee at a local dispensary, sales of medicinal marijuana continue to grow with customers coming in non-stop and creating sustainable medicine and jobs for those involved.

Essential Medicine

Meanwhile, many states are moving forward in their official determination that dispensaries are essential businesses during these trying times.
An article in today’s New York Times spotlights the phenomenon, as seen through the lens of a potentially disastrous health situation developing across the nation.

Cannabis dispensaries—medical and recreational—have been determined to be essential businesses in many states facing health-related closures and massive changes to the American business structure in the past couple of weeks.

Among the states participating in the cultural sea change: California, Colorado, Pennsylvania, Washington and yes, even New Mexico. In San Francisco, a city hard hit with the potentially deadly outbreak, the declaration of the value of dispensaries in today’s world was reflected as huge increase in sales.

Headset, a cannabis research group, told the
Times that sales in the City by the Bay had risen at least 150 percent over the figures for the same time last year. Liz Connors, the director of analytics at the heady research firm contacted by the newspaper said, “It shows that a lot of people think cannabis is just another consumer good, like beer or wine.” Connors also noted that edible products are becoming more and more popular, because customers were taking precautions to avoid infection. “It’s probably the easiest way to get high without touching your face very much,” she concluded.

In Pennsylvania, the report finishes by announcing that liquor stores were ordered closed, while dispensaries will be allowed to stay open. New Mexico declared cannabis dispensaries to be essential businesses this week when Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham announced a statewide stay at home order.
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