As Americans practice isolation and social distancing amid rising coronavirus cases and deaths, it seems many are turning to cannabis to ease the pain and stress of lockdown.
Cannabis usage reached the highest ever in mid-March in the United States as worried stoners bought large consignments to stock up for rainy days. A survey conducted by Cowen & Co in march with 2,500 respondents found that 33 percent had tried cannabis at some point in life. This is a record "high" for the US, Bloomberg reported.
As per the report, adult-use cannabis sales increased by 64 percent by the end of the second week of March. A report in Associated Press from ten days later cited that demand for legal cannabis and related products had increased two-fold and California and by 50 percent in Washington, as per data in the cannabis industry tracker Headset.
Shares of cannabis dispensaries also gained value as several parts of the United States went into complete lockdown.
Nevertheless, Headset data pointed toward a decreasing sales trend by the end of March as the lockdown affected the financial stability of consumers.
Analysts at Cowen found a "more pronounced deterioration in job security for past-month cannabis consumers relative to the general population".
Ever since the novel coronavirus outbreak, many have been stockpiling cannabis across the world. In the US where cannabis currently has a quasi-legal status, cannabis dispensaries have been allowed to function as "essential services" in several states.
However, a report in Insider quotes lung experts who said that smoking marijuana or cannabis could severely impact a person's susceptibility to coronavirus and may have a negative impact on health.