Americans stocking up on cannabis as advocates work to ensure medical supply

Image by Gordon Johnson from Pixabay
Image by Gordon Johnson from Pixabay

Medical marijuana cardholders, who suffer from a variety of maladies, are lining up at dispensaries throughout Nevada to ensure having cannabis on hand while Nevadans have been asked to keep their distance from one another to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Lines began forming around dispensaries Tuesday evening, following Gov. Steve Sisolak’s announcement that nonessential businesses would close Wednesday at noon.  The longest lines were for medical cardholders, who customarily receive expedited service at the state’s dispensaries.  

At least one dispensary chain adjusted operations, albeit briefly. 

On Thursday morning, the Source notified customers via text that it would “temporarily open only to valid medical patients.”

The hiatus on recreational sales ended Friday morning, less than 24 hours later when the dispensary notified customers recreational orders could be placed on-line.  

A government affairs representative for the Marijuana Policy Project says the organization is working with governors to ensure medical users have access to cannabis.  The MPP issued the following guidance to regulators and governments. 

  • Allow and encourage curbside pick-up at dispensaries.  Illinois and Michigan have done so, according to MPP. 
  • Allow medical cannabis delivery services, ideally with no in-person contact
  • Declared medical cannabis businesses as “essential” 
  • Permit new medical cards to be issued via telemedicine
  • Remove duplicative licensing requirements and red tape for existing businesses
  • Remove the cap on patient caregivers allowed to pick up product for medical cardholders
  • Extend expiration dates for cardholders

Sales of cannabis spiked last weekend in America among all generations except Baby Boomers, according to Headset, which monitors sales nationwide.

“Sales growth last weekend was 31.7 percent women, 15.6 percent men,” Headset wrote, surmising females had less product on hand and sought to stock up. 

Gen Z, the youngest legal buyers of marijuana, purchased 42.1 percent more last weekend than the previous four, the tracking site reported.  

“This sends a clear message about which generations did and did not prioritize cannabis ahead of a period of potential scarcity,” Headset wrote.

Baby Boomers, who comprised 19 percent of market share in 2019, dropped to 11 percent the weekend of March 13 through 15. 

Gen Z maintained its 4 percent market share, but Millennials and Generation X “had significant increases in market share, with Millennials moving from 48% in 2019 to 54% of sales on the COVID sales surge weekend and Gen X increasing from 28% to 30% of sales.”

Dana Gentry
Senior Reporter | Dana Gentry is a native Las Vegan and award-winning investigative journalist. She is a graduate of Bishop Gorman High School and holds a Bachelor's degree in Communications from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Gentry began her career in broadcasting as an intern at Channel 8, KLAS-TV. She later became a reporter at Channel 8, working with Las Vegas TV news legends Bob Stoldal and the late Ned Day. Gentry left her reporting job in 1985 to focus on motherhood. She returned to TV news in 2001 to launch "Face to Face with Jon Ralston" and the weekly business programs In Business Las Vegas and Vegas Inc, which she co-anchored with Jeff Gillan. Dana has four adult children, a grandson, three dogs, three cats and a cockatoo named Casper.