California marijuana sales surge amid COVID-19 business closures, store owners say

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Owners of marijuana dispensaries in California are reporting a boost in sales after Gov. Gavin Newsom ordered all non-essential businesses close, according to KTLA sister station KTXL in Sacramento.

Maisha Bahati is the co-founder of Crystal Nugs, the first minority and women-owned cannabis delivery service in Sacramento. 

“Business has been great, especially this last week,” Bahati said.

She said she’s seeing a spike in business since the governor’s order.  

“We’ve been like crazy busy, lots and lots of new customers, a lot of women, first-time women customers, a lot of senior customers,” Bahati said. “A lot of people calling, some were concerned we would not be open, so they were kind of stockpiling.”

According to Newsom’s order, cannabis dispensaries with a medicinal cannabis license are considered essential businesses, allowing them to keep their doors open to the public during the new coronavirus pandemic.  

Graham Farrar is the chief executive officer of Glass House Farms. He has dispensaries throughout the state of California and said that his business is also booming, with customers reaching out daily. 

“We’re keeping our employees working, making sure that they are buying groceries, gas and rent,” Farrar said.

Farrar said he is now implementing delivery-only options to keep people safe. 

“We went down to maximum 10 customers in the store at a time, then one customer and one budtender and now, we are at web order only,” Farrar said.

As more businesses continue to shut their doors due to COVID-19, dispensaries across Sacramento are breathing a sigh of relief.

“We were concerned that would have hurt us a lot. We kind of make our money by sales, so we were a little nervous,” Farrar said.

Glass House Farms has donated to food banks and protective equipment to hospitals in need, he said.

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