A new study has found that legal cannabis sales in multiple states in the nation hit record highs last year as COVID-19 spread across the country. Up until now, sales in the four states included in the analysis, namely Washington, Oregon, Colorado and Alaska, have increased more during the coronavirus pandemic, than in the two years prior to the pandemic.
The study’s authors include researchers from the Drug and Alcohol Institute at the University of Washington, researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and others from health and regulatory agencies in other states. The study was published in the “International Journal of Drug Policy.”
For their research, the authors collected pretax marijuana sales data from state regulatory agencies and compared the data over time. They discovered that marijuana sales increased at a time when stay-at-home orders had affected other economic sectors. In their report, the researchers stated that their findings demonstrated a general increase in marijuana sales in the four states, following stay-at-home orders issued in March of last year.
While the researchers did not find the cause behind the growth in sales, they theorize that the increase may be associated with various factors, including the following:
- Potential increases in price caused by increasing demand and/or purchase of more expensive marijuana products, including oils and concentrates.
- Stay-at-home orders triggering consumers to start buying from licensed stores and avoiding the illicit market.
- Increased use of marijuana by people trying to cope with stress.
Many states allowed marijuana retailers to remain open amid the pandemic, with regulators and governors in some markets even declaring cannabis businesses as essential. Several jurisdictions went so far as to issue emergency rules enabling delivery services, curbside pickup and policies that took into account social distancing.
The researchers also believe that these measures could have allowed individuals with small children in their care or those with mobility issues to easily access the products. In their report, they note that marijuana regulatory policy changes in various states that promoted social distancing may have increased the ease or convenience of purchasing marijuana for some customers.
In addition to this, the researchers hypothesize that increased consumption could be because of self-treatment of medical conditions as pandemic-related barriers may have hindered access to the usual sources of medical care. The authors of the study chose the states of Washington, Oregon, Colorado and Alaska because their legal adult-use marijuana markets were more likely to plateau, seeing as they had been operating for a long time.
It is interesting to note that as cannabis sales surge, so do sales of CBD medicinal products manufactured by companies such as Simply Sonoma Inc. The theorization by the research team suggesting that many people are turning to different cannabinoids to manage their symptoms may explain the increased sales across the board.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Simply Sonoma Inc. are available in the company’s newsroom at https://cnw.fm/Sonoma
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