Cannabis retailers, declared essential amid the pandemic, may be among the few businesses in The City that have managed to maintain relatively stable sales.
Though a few stores reported steep declines, most of the dozen or so shops The Examiner contacted this week said that business has remained steady, and in some cases they have even had increased sales.
Though foot traffic is down, dispensaries said customers on average are spending more and utilizing delivery or online order options.
“People are leaving the house less and stocking up more when they do,” said Conor Johnston, co-owner of Berners, a cannabis store on Haight Street. “The number of customers is down but the amount they’re spending is up.”
Between boarded up bars and boutiques, Berners draws a steady line of customers — directed to stand six feet apart — on any given afternoon. The scene on Mission Street in front of Purple Star is similar, with the addition of cars lined up for the dispensaries’s curbside pickup option.
Of course that’s with a very limited number of customers allowed in stores at a time — one per register open, in accordance with The City’s guidelines.
The City declared cannabis stores essential after briefly requiring them to close in the initial shelter-in-place order issued by Mayor London Breed last month. Gov. Gavin Newsom designated cannabis as essential later in March, allowing cannabis stores and their supply chain to continue operation.
And with the stress of dealing with the pandemic, some are feeling the need for weed, now more than ever.
“This situation has been unlike any other,” said Tyler Richtman, who says he uses marijuana to cope with extreme anxiety. “I find myself smoking to have a better grasp on the reality at hand.”
“I refuse to take pills and I