The nation’s rapid shift into social distancing and isolation has been lousy for most segments of the U.S. economy, but one niche seeing significant growth in recent days is the licensed cannabis sector, home to companies like Curaleaf (OTC: CURLF), and Cresco Labs (OTC: CRLBF).
During the week that ended March 13, retail locations across the country’s largest legal cannabis market, California reported increasing delivery sales. Employees at privately held Ganja Goddess, a delivery service provider operating in California, say they have seen a 10% increase in sales each week for the past three weeks.
California declared a state of emergency on March 4 after reporting the state’s first death from a COVID-19 infection. In Florida, another state where Curaleaf and Cresco have significant operations, Gov. Ron DeSantis on March 7 escalated the state of emergency from level one to level two.
Delivery services have in recent years become the norm for most retail products, but cannabis consumers generally want to see what they’re buying up close before committing to a purchase. However, the COVID-19 fear hanging over the country like a dark cloud might be just what it takes to push cannabis buyers to try a dispensary-associated delivery service for the first time.
Either way, it could be a while before investors know if the publicly traded cannabis producers are experiencing a social-distancing-induced sales bump. On March 24, 2020, Curaleaf will report results from the fourth quarter of 2019, and Cresco Labs hasn’t announced a date for its fourth-quarter earnings release yet.
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Cannabis legalization is sweeping over North America – 11 states plus Washington, D.C., have all legalized recreational marijuana over the last few years, and full legalization came to Canada in October 2018.