The city has gone to pot. Marijuana, that is.
Since the coronavirus hit, sales of marijuana have gone through the roof in both the United States and Canada. Between March 16 and 22, sales of recreational cannabis rose by 50 percent across states including California, Colorado and Oregon, while medical marijuana sales jumped 41 percent from the same period a year ago.
Despite recreational pot still being illegal here, New Yorkers are helping fuel the trend.
“Business is up a good 50 percent,” said one Manhattan dealer (who asked to remain anonymous). “I work in every borough except Staten Island, and people are very happy that my service is running. Customers are saying ‘Thank you’.”
Vladimir Bautista, the Westchester-based CEO of marijuana lifestyle company HappyMunkey is certainly grateful.
“My consumption has gone up by 50 percent due to the extra time and stress. It is helping me tremendously during these crazy times to cope with the fear of unknown . . . and [to] prioritize what’s important in life.”
In New Jersey, where medical marijuana is also legal, patients are also using more.
Stu Zakim, president of Bridge Strategic Communication, has a prescription for marijuana to treat arthritis and chronic pain and said, “I’m smoking more because business is down and I’m stuck inside all day.”
Unlike in California and other places that have seen a run on medical marijuana, the good news for locals is, there’s still stock. “We’re not running out and there are no issues with restocking… yet,” the Manhattan delivery dealer said.
But at least one New York City weed distributor has put their services on hold this week.
Brooklyn Arboretum sent out a note to clients last week noting: “We are suspending deliveries until further notice, due to concerns over rapid spread of COVID-19 within the city . . . We urge you to stop inviting deliveries into your home and prepare yourselves and your loved ones.”
Meanwhile, a Columbia professor who said that his usage has increased lately warned against the downsides of being high: “I smoked the other night and went down a rabbit hole about how the coronavirus is going to crash the economy and kick off the end of the world as we know it.”