If you’ve been to a large retailer or grocery store in the last week or so, you’ve likely noticed that certain shelves are empty. Hand sanitizer, toilet paper, sanitizing wipes, eggs: all of these things are non-existent at my local big grocer.
Large numbers of people, fearing they will have to spend considerable time isolated from the outside world, are stocking up on what they feel are essentials. This list includes liquor, guns and marijuana in places like Los Angeles. Bulk marijuana buying has been seen at many dispensaries and retailers across the country, from Massachusetts to California and points in between.
Illicit dealers are likely seeing the same pattern from their customers, as more people decide that staying in their homes as much as possible is the prudent course. Uncertainty breeds fear, and few things are more uncertain right now than the spread of Coronavirus. For many, fear is accompanied by the urge to do something and get ahead of what they are worried about, which often takes the form of stockpiling.
Another point mentioned by multiple articles I’ve read is that with Coronavirus creating anxiety and worry in many, marijuana is what a lot of people will turn to in order to try and calm down. Using more marijuana creates the need to buy more, and customers who realize that will tend to make larger purchases.
As far as continuing supplies, I suspect things like hand sanitizer and toilet paper will be easier to re-stock than legal cannabis, for many reasons. Not only does marijuana take a bit of time to grow, but most places with legal marijuana were already experiencing various levels of shortage, especially on the adult-use side.
Unfortunately, those with compromised immune systems seem to be the most vulnerable to the effects of Coronavirus, and many people with compromised immune systems are also medical marijuana patients. They will feel the effects of shortages more than others.
The next few weeks to few months could be unlike anything we have ever experienced. The balance between remaining calm and being cautious and vigilant will be a hard one to maintain. Just try to remember that while it is a cliché, all of us have to face this together. Some have it tougher than others, and everyone is deserving of a chance to be healthy.
Perspective, while always important, seems even more important now.