Case Study: Marijuana Dispensaries

 
Case Study:
Marijuana Dispensaries
 
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When stay-at-home orders were implemented all throughout the US in March, businesses and retail stores deemed “non-essential” were forced to close their doors, resulting in a massive hit to the economy and record-breaking unemployment rates. In many places, however, due to the medical nature of marijuana, dispensaries were deemed “essential” and were permitted to remain open.
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Several states including Washington State, Idaho, Oregon, California, and Illinois, saw legal marijuana sales significantly increase once the pandemic hit, contrary to the reality for most other businesses. In Oregon, March and April sales broke all previous records, with $89 million in sales in April alone. In response to the increase in demand, sales and overall number of customers, many dispensaries have had to hire additional workers.
 
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The climbing success of dispensaries is not limited to those that remained open during lockdowns. Many states that had previously forced marijuana dispensaries to close are now including them in their early reopening stages. On Monday, Massachusetts allowed dispensaries to reopen for curbside pick-up. One dispensary in Fall River claimed that within minutes of opening, they had over 600 online orders and saw lines stretched down the street.
 
Reopenings across the country will require the use of masks, sanitizer, one-time-use menus, dividers, and other safety equipment and materials.

Legalized marijuana sales have also provided a steady stream of tax revenue during a time when previously dependable sources like personal income and state lottery revenues are rapidly dwindling. Proponents of marijuana legalization think that this increase in tax revenue could be an incentive for more states, and potentially the federal government, to legalize marijuana, in addition to providing new jobs for Americans.
 
With legal marijuana sales exceeding pre-pandemic forecasts all across the country, the reopening of dispensaries in other areas will only lead to greater momentum for the industry.
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