Marijuana Use Reaches All-Time High During Lockdown In March

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Written by Dana Sanchez
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Designated as “essential,” legal medical marijuana had its first big test and passed. Pot use reached an all-time high in March during the coronavirus lockdown. Photo by Jakob Owens on Unsplash

Legal marijuana had its first big test — how would it hold up during the coronavirus pandemic? — and passed as pot smokers stood in long lines to make sure they didn’t run out before stay-at-home orders went into effect.

Almost half the users surveyed in a poll conducted by AmericanMarijuana.org said they stockpiled their stash in March, according to responses from 990 pot consumers.

March was a record-breaking month for dispensaries in the 33 states around the U.S. where cannabis is legal for medical use.

Most U.S. states designated medical marijuana companies as “essential” during the coronavirus pandemic, San Antonio Current reported. Eight have allowed that designation for legal sale of recreational weed, according to a tally by Marijuana Business Daily.

“It shows that a lot of people think cannabis is just another consumer good, like beer or wine,” said Liz Connors, director of analytics at Headset, in a New York Times interview.

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Almost half the marijuana users polled in AmericanMarijuana.org survey (48.7 percent) said they bought extra cannabis “before shit got heavy,” SACurrent reported. Of those stocking up, 55 percent said they did so to calm themselves during the pandemic, while 23 percent said they were worried the pandemic would create a weed shortage. Another 22 percent said they just needed to stock up while they hang out at home.

A different March survey of 2,800 customers found that marijuana use reached an all-time high, Bloomberg reported. The poll by Cowen & Co. found that 33 percent of respondents had tried cannabis at some point in their lives — an all-time high.

Cowen & Co. also showed that sales spiked 64 percent the week of March 16, though the gains fell off subsequently — possibly due to people being out of work.

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The percentage of cannabis consumers working full time fell to 42.2 percent from February to March 2020 — a larger decline in employment than the general population, Washington Examiner reported.

In France, where cannabis use is still illegal, the street price surged after border controls were imposed as part of a nationwide lockdown to slow the coronavirus spread.

France has one of Europe’s highest consumption rates.