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Cannabis Sales Surge Over The Weekend As World Braces For Coronavirus

Recreational cannabis sales in Washington were up 33 percent on Sunday, while Ontario's sales were up a whopping 100 percent.


Cannabis sales in Washington and across Canada were up significantly this weekend compared to last. The data points to the surge of consumers purchasing cannabis in preparation for coronavirus COVID-19 social distancing and quarantines.

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The cannabis retail data company Headset found sales of adult-use cannabis in Washington were up 23 percent on Friday, 14 percent on Saturday, and 33 percent on Sunday over the prior week.

"After they filled their pantries it seems consumers went out and filled their stash boxes, too," a Headset representative tells Green Entrepreneur. 

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This was driven by a modest increase in total sales transactions (about 6 percent increase in tickets) and a large increase in the average amount of weed each consumer was purchasing. The average amount consumers spent on their cannabis purchases on Sunday were $33.70 before taxes, up 22 percent over the prior week and 28 percent compared to the monthly total transaction amount seen in January and February of this year.

The increase in average basket size was driven by consumers who felt the desire to stock-up, Headset found. Over 21 percent of baskets amounted to a bill greater than $50 (before taxes), which compares to only 16 percent the week before.

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Similar sentiment has been echoed in delivery companies in legal markets. Three delivery services Sava, Caliva, and Sweet Flower all reported an increase in demand in the last two weeks as coronavirus news became more public.

Washington wasn't the only place that has reported a record amount of sales. Spiritleaf CEO Darren Bondar told Marijuana Business Daily's Matt Lamers that his 46 retail storefronts “experienced an unprecedented demand for cannabis over the weekend with sales up 20% over the previous one and a record number of customers served."

Ontario's prices surged the most of any province. According to Lamers,'s website reported 80 percent to 100 percent sales increases over the weekend.

Leafly reported that companies are beginning to offer curb-side pick up as a way to mitigate the number of people coming into storefronts.

Data will continue to come in regarding the amount consumers are purchasing in each cannabis-legal state. Green Entrepreneur will post updates when they become available.