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The Stoned Age

Like any teenager before the COVID-19 pandemic, Adam* ’21 followed a nightly routine of completing homework, brushing his teeth, scrolling through Instagram and falling asleep. His regimen changed during quarantine when he began taking hits from his favorite birthday cake-flavored Stiizy, a marijuana electronic cigarette, every night. Smoking before falling asleep provided him with the necessary high to get through his summer job working at an office the next day, Adam said.

Marijuana has become an outlet for teenagers and young adults during quarantine. Those between the ages of 18 and 29 make up the largest group of marijuana smokers as of 2019, according to Statista. Throughout March, marijuana dispensaries saw a 42.1% increase in sales specifically among Generation Z, those born between the mid to late 1990s and early 2010s, according to Headset, a marijuana analytics company.

“I was working a job, and I would come to work high because I did not want to be there, but I also wanted to get paid,” Adam said. “I was probably smoking every other day in quarantine, compared to once a week or every two weeks.”

Local demand for marijuana has skyrocketed during the coronavirus pandemic, as cannabis dispensaries were deemed essential businesses in California. In 2019, the United States marijuana industry was worth approximately $13.6 billion and employed around 340,000 individuals, according to Investopedia. Every year, the industry continues to grow in popularity, with investors pouring millions into the production process.

Weedmaps, the largest technology company in the legal cannabis economy, connects consumers to marijuana retailers. The business has seen a massive increase in sales during the COVID-19 quarantine, Chief Marketing Officer at Weedmaps Juanjo Feijoo said.

“Weedmaps has recorded a significant spike in sales since the shelter-in-place order was implemented in mid-March,” Feijoo said. “There was a 348% increase in the number of orders processed from March to July 2020, when compared to the same period in 2019.”

The company also recorded the highest single-day volume in the company’s history this year April 20, a national holiday in cannabis culture. Orders processed through the company this year reflected a 434% increase compared to the same day last year, Feijoo said.

Feijoo attributed this rise in sales to individuals needing cannabis for medical use.

“Arguably the most important issue is that there are many who depend on cannabis for their medicinal needs, so much like one would go to their pharmacy to stock up on their prescriptions, these consumers are taking the necessary steps to ensure access to their cannabis medicine,” Feijoo said.

To Read The Rest Of This Article By Sandra Koretz on The Chronicle (Harvard-Westlake School)

Published: October 21, 2020

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