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Cannabis in a Time of Coronavirus: Business is Essential & Sales are Brisk

The COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) pandemic has wreaked havoc on many U.S. businesses. Cannabis dispensaries not so much. In fact, dispensary sales are booming, with legal sales of cannabis in some states seeing 20% spikes or more, according to Headset, which keeps tabs on marijuana sales trends.

In the six days leading up to 420, an unofficial high holiday for marijuana users, dispensaries in Washington State reported sales totaling $23.3 million, up 32% from the same 6 days last year. Some of the increase is probably due to Americans receiving CARES Act stimulus checks. Headset reports that based on its analysis “at least a portion of the sales surge on 4/15 was due to stimulus check spending.”

When all is said and done, Headset expects cannabis dispensary sales will rise 15% year-over-year for week April 14-20.

Headset also reports that consumer purchases of premium eighths (3.5 grams of cannabis flower) “has remained constant despite the economic impact of COVID-19 on the cannabis consumer’s wallet.”

Nearly all the 33 states where marijuana has been legalized for medicinal uses have designated cannabis dispensaries as “essential” businesses, on par with pharmacies, and not subject to closure orders. This represents a dramatic shift in the public perception of marijuana in less than a generation.

A shift also is occurring in way customers interact with cannabis dispensaries. With most states limiting in-store visits to dispensaries due to the Coronavirus, online ordering of cannabis with curbside pickup and/or delivery has become the new normal for most dispensaries.

Driven Deliveries, an online cannabis retailer based in California, reports it saw a 31% spike in sales during its 420 sales campaign. The campaigns, run by the firm’s two retail divisions, Ganjarunner and Budee, drove cannabis product sales in excess of $100,000 in less than 12 hours on April 20, Driven Deliveries said.

Online ordering (ecommerce) supports more informed buying decisions by customers who can no longer view cannabis products in store. It also enables cannabis business owners to better track sales, offer cannabis selections that meet customer preferences, and maintain appealing digital facades.

If you operate a cannabis dispensary and you’re looking to establish and/or grow your ecommerce presence, Paybotic is here to help. Our experienced designers and payment professionals can help design a custom website that reflects your brand aesthetics and values, while also satisfying payment processor underwriting requirements.

Call today to learn about Paybotic’s complete packages of ecommerce and payment acceptance services for cannabis dispensaries and other businesses serving the cannabis market.

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