More than 2½ months into the coronavirus pandemic, hashish sales in 5 of the nations’ largest leisure markets are a combined bag.

But sharp sales will increase in Oregon and Washington state – two mature adult-use markets pushed by demand from in-state residents moderately than vacationers – recommend that marijuana consumption is rising in the course of the COVID-19 disaster, indicating that the hashish trade at-large is probably going nicely positioned to climate a chronic interval of financial instability.

Since March – when the pandemic hit the United States in earnest – adult-use hashish sales in Oregon and Washington state have surged.

Oregon’s sales will increase are particularly notable, up almost 60% from May 2019 and breaking the $100 million mark final month for the primary time for the reason that market launched in 2015.

While the good points in Washington state aren’t fairly as dramatic, sales in March, April and May 2020 elevated by a mean of 28.5% over the identical months a yr in the past.

For context, Washington state’s adult-use hashish market generated $1.1 billion in 2019 – up 8% over 2018 – which means the 2020 sales development fee up to now is roughly thrice final yr’s fee.

In California, Colorado and Nevada, nonetheless, it’s clear that the pandemic has been a drag on every state’s adult-use hashish market.

However, as a result of tourism performs a bigger function in these markets, it’s potential that consumption by in-state residents is rising even whereas general sales fall.

In Colorado, for instance, medical marijuana sales – which consist solely of transactions involving in-state residents – eclipsed $36 million in April 2020, a rise of 31% over April 2019 and the strongest month of MMJ sales since August 2017.

Las Vegas – one of the crucial standard vacationer locations in the world – closed to outdoors guests in mid-March. While 80% of adult-use hashish sales in Nevada happen in Clark County, the place Las Vegas is situated, adult-use sales for the state in May fell by 25% in comparison with the identical month final yr.

The image in California is much less clear. The state’s nascent marijuana trade is grappling with a bevy of different challenges, together with excessive costs, an absence of retail shops and an entrenched illicit market.

It’s potential shoppers are opting to buy from the illicit market moderately than the authorized house because it’s less expensive and simpler to entry.

Eli McVey will be reached at [email protected]

For extra of Marijuana Business Daily’s ongoing protection of the coronavirus pandemic and its results on the hashish trade, click on right here.

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