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Sales and Challenges in Cannabis Growth in States Amidst Pandemic

Across the U.S. there are 33 states that permit the sale and use of marijuana in some form. That is 33 states that pre-covid-19 had legal production, sales and delivery of cannabis products that include marijuana. With the pandemic outbreak of covid-19 27 states ruled that cannabis businesses are essential (or a similar designation) and would remain open. This included medical marijuana and recreational marijuana sales in some states, and only medical in others.

This is good for legal cannabis businesses, which are enjoying a historical boost in sales. Marijuana sales records are being broken now in many states. However, since there are disparities between states in how cannabis is delivered to customers, or if it would be, there was panic buying in mid-to-late March. Some states decreed that curbside pickup was fine, while others stated that the product could be only delivered. Many people anticipating a stay-at-home order in their states stocked up on marijuana for medical and therapeutic purposes. And some who were expecting medical marijuana cards but they hadn’t come yet also stocked up at any recreational outlet they could.

In some states marijuana went from illegal to essential in a very short time, according to Karen O’Keefe, a policy director at the Marijuana Policy Project.

There are now 43 million Americans who use cannabis medically or recreationally, who are spending $70 billion a year on cannabis products. Advocates for marijuana were projecting that by the end of 2020 that 40 states would have some form of legal cannabis laws passed. However the covid-19 epidemic will slow that down as legislative priorities have changed.

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