Of the over 800,000 confirmed Coronavirus cases in the world, at least 100,000 are from Spain. The country has lost a little over 9,000 patients, and understandably, it has gone into lockdown mode to reduce the spread of the virus. This, coupled with regular hand washing and social distancing is the best way to prevent new infections.
However, the economic impact of the lockdown has been immense. With all but the most essential businesses closed and a large number of people currently unable to work, the economy has been in a steady decline. The situation has also resulted in a spike in marijuana prices in Spain, with hashish and cannabis selling at two or even three times their original price.
Ten days ago, a gram of marijuana would have cost a Spaniard $5.46 or $6.56, but now one would have to fork over $10.93 or even $16.39 for the same amount of cannabis. With all but the most essential supply lines shut down, moving marijuana has become difficult. In fact, the Civil Guard thwarted their shipments on Malaga’s beaches within the last nine days, further exacerbating the situation.
According to police sources, drug trafficking numbers are down due to the lockdown. “Before, there were many young people in the street selling. Now, obviously, you can’t see them,” says one policeman.
“It makes sense that the prices of narcotic substances go up. Police pressure is high and it’s no longer normal for certain people to walk the streets, or for certain vehicles to move at night. The priority is to guarantee what is established in the royal decree, so there is a lot of pressure on movements and a lot of paperwork,” he adds.
The fact that individuals who don’t comply with the Coronavirus-related directives are at risk of a €100 fine or up to one year prison time, on top of the fines for marijuana possession, is a big deterrent.
To avoid detection, sellers have come up with creative ways to sell marijuana. These include quick meetings in supermarket parking lots and for those who are extra careful, the seller hides the marijuana at an agreed-upon spot and gets paid by mobile phone. “This way you keep the security distance without problems because people get their supplies and don’t have to go out so many times,” says one salesman.
“The logic is the same as in supermarket shopping: buy more to go less,” he says.
Analysts say licensed marijuana industry actors like The Supreme Cannabis Company Inc. (TSX: FIRE) (OTCQX: SPRWF) are hoping that the COVID-19 pandemic is brought under control long before cannabis supplies dwindle and the people who need these products fail to access them legally.
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