Marijuana sales surge as industry changes to keep workers, customers safe amid pandemic

Posted at 4:24 PM, Mar 31, 2020

DENVER, Colo. – As the COVID-19 pandemic shuts down several businesses, others are cashing in. The coronavirus crisis is causing pot sales to surge.

“It’s never a dull moment around here now; it’s been crazy,” said a budtender at Euflora Recreational Marijuana Dispensary in metro Denver.

Euflora has seen an 85% increase in sales since a stay-at-home order went into effect.

“We have never seen anything like this,” said Ashley Chubin, Euflora national brand director.

Chubin says her company’s dispensaries in California and Colorado are now only offering curbside pot pick-up.

It’s an adjustment of day-to-day operations to make sure both workers and customers stay safe during this worldwide crisis.

“We are trying to do our very, very best as far as what the state and government is saying,” she said. “Everybody has gloves. We’re standing six feet away.”

As more people practice social distancing, Euflora leaders say they now have more of a social responsibility.

“We need to stay healthy and safe and happy,” said store manager Pam Pacheco. “So, if we can continue to purchase safely, let’s do it.”

Pacheco says customers are stocking up on everything from edibles to flower and that the curbside pickup is helping people get their pot – and peace of mind.

“I think the nerves have calmed down,” she said. “I think this is catering to them. Everybody feels good and we’re still able to give them product.”

To get pot products, customers order online, drive to a dispensary where they’re greeted by a budtender who checks their identifications, takes their cash and brings back a bag filled with items containing THC or CBD.

They’re products that some say help improve their quality of life.

“I have Parkinson syndrome and I tremble a lot,” said one customer. “It helps to calm me down.”

One couple was visiting Colorado from Illinois where weed was recently legalized.

“The lines back at home are basically around the block and they don’t ever have what you want,” they said.

Right now, recreational marijuana is legal in 11 states and legal for medical use in 33 states.

Some states have deemed marijuana dispensaries essential businesses, which allows them to stay open and offer customers cannabis.

However, there are some worries about people stocking up on weed and isolating themselves from society.

“I would say it’s a huge concern by the states making it one of the essential needs,” said Tricia Hudson-Matthew, Ph.D., an addiction specialist at Metropolitan State University of Denver.

She believes panic buying pot can lead to all kinds of emotional issues.

“People are scared they don’t know what to do and they’re self-medicating and when that doesn’t work or we need a stronger dosage then we start to panic,” Hudson-Matthew said.

She says those using pot recreationally should strongly consider facing their fears of this pandemic sober.

“Our body would naturally release some of the endorphins that we need as we sit in that place and start to process,” she said. “So, we don’t need to self-medicate.”

Dispensaries like Euflora say they’ll continue cannabis curbside pickup as long as the law allows. Helping customers get weed safely while slowing down the spread of coronavirus.