Cannabis sales during coronavirus are ‘record shattering,’ adding strain to supply chain

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A sign directing the public to CBD products at Green House Smoke Shop in Venice. Photo by Amy Ta.

People across the country are stocking up on essential supplies to get through the next few weeks as cities shut down due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Toilet paper and hand sanitizer are hot commodities, and you can add marijuana to that list. David Downs, the California Bureau Chief for Leafly, says that the sales forecast for the industry in the midst of the pandemic are “record shattering.” 

“Delivery service and stores have never been busier in California. They're reporting that they're having to turn away delivery orders because they're maxed out, and they can't even get to everybody every day,” Downs says.“The CDC does say get a month's supply of medication. And for a regular consumer who smokes a gram a day, that's an ounce a month. That's about $200 to $400 to spend depending on how well you do in a dispensary.” 

Downs says that there’s no shortage of cannabis flowers in the state of California, but the coronavirus pandemic could put some strain on the supply chain for other products. 

“There will be a shortage of packaging supplies, as well as some of the electronic hardware that goes into some cannabis products. So you're going to see a shortage of a particular color Doob Tube, or a special type of vape pen as factories in China spin back up over there and ship that stuff across the Pacific. It still takes a month,” He says. “We're down about 1/12 of the normal supply of Chinese goods in America. And we might be 6th overall for the year. So that kink in the supply chain promises to percolate down into the cannabis industry and knock some of these product rollouts off the timeline.” 

Downs does have a recommendation to stay busy during this time: “Get some seeds though. It's a great time of year, seasonally and psychologically to start a little indoor garden. And you can bring that out in the summer. And let's face it, self-sufficiency is so hot right now.” 



Larry Perel


Cerise Castle