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As customers hoard pot brownies, North American weed firms see lockdown boost

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REUTERS: Cannabis sales are touching new highs as customers across the United States and Canada stockpile weed to prepare for long spells of isolation because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Between Mar 16 and Mar 22, sales of recreational cannabis across California, Colorado, Oregon and Arkansas – some of the key US markets – were up 50 per cent and medical marijuana sales rose 41 per cent from the same period last year, figures obtained from cannabis point of sale and data platform Flowhub show.

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Several US states and Canadian provinces have taken steps to curb the fast-spreading coronavirus by issuing stay at home orders, restricting business operations, or closing down borders as death toll in both countries approaches 600.

While many businesses have been ordered shut, cannabis stores have been listed as essential services and allowed to remain open.

In Ontario, Canada's most populous province, online sales on the government-run Ontario Cannabis Store's (OCS) website have soared over the last two weeks, OCS director of communications Daffyd Roderick, said. For example, last weekend's orders were more than twice as high as only two weeks ago.

In Nova Scotia, which on Sunday became the latest province to declare coronavirus emergency, cannabis sales spiked 76per cent last week, according to the province's liquor commission, which controls sales of cannabis there.

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Fears of months of supply disruptions were boosting Canadian sales, Stuart Titus, CEO of California-based Medical Marijuana Inc told Reuters.

"We have seen stockpiling in Canada by consumers who have snapped up products from LPs (licensed producers)."

The surge in demand may offer pot producers a welcome respite after investors sold off cannabis stocks throughout much of last year as profits in the sector remained elusive.

Jamie Pearson, CEO of California-based Bhang Read More – Source