Cannabis consumption during COVID-19 – 66% production increase!
Since the COVID-19 epidemic came into full swing in the later stages of March, many businesses feared for the impending impact and subsequent drop in sales. While many businesses felt the unfortunate wrath of lockdowns and lost customers, others have even become overwhelmed by an influx of shoppers.
Online storefronts, delivery services, and even the cannabis industry have seen notable increases in sales and traffic – and we’re going to focus on the Canadian side of things here.
We’ll go over cannabis consumption during COVID-19 times, the health implications, and what you can do as an individual during these times to stay on top of the game.
We use official data from the official Government of Canada Cannabis market data page for our cannabis consumption data.
Cannabis consumption prior to COVID-19
While it’s exceedingly difficult to gauge accurate consumption numbers over the past year since cannabis legalization, trends and data show us that roughly 15% to 25% of Canadians have consumed cannabis in 2019 – with predictions for that number to rise slightly for 2020.
Those predictions don’t factor in a global pandemic where people are suggested to stay at home, binge some Netflix series, and smoke up with some snacks in hand!
Right before lockdowns began, cannabis sales in April 2020 show that over 7.5 million packaged units of flower were sold in stores. Unfortunately there was a halt in market data publication between March and June during COVID-19, so we don’t quite know the numbers now.
However, in the same month of April 2020, it appears that manufacturers knew what’s up and have increased the production of packaged cannabis to a whopping 11 million units. This translated to a whopping 46% increase in production compared to February of 2020, and a 66% increase over production in November of 2019 which was at 6.6 million units.
While we wait for official sales data to show up, we’re fairly confident that this spike is also reflective of the consumption data.
With a predicted CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 22.5% between 2019 and 2024, the cannabis markets are anticipated to reach as value of over $5.2 billion CAD annually. This new pandemic might expedite this process significantly.
How many people are using weed now?
It only seems natural – no work, no obligations to meet, and CERB money coming in steadily – it’s a stoners dream come true. Given the strange and unfortunate weather patterns seen across many regions in Canada, this only gives more reason to stay inside and enjoy whichever new Netflix series catches the eye.
As a result, cannabis consumption has seen a notable increase as stores have seen their sales increase dramatically. While it’s not groundbreaking or mind-boggling by any means, an increase in over 10% is the general estimate.
Anecdotally, many people self-reported higher consumption across the board and we’d be surprised if the increase of sales is only 10%. If we had to make an educated guess, we’d throw the figure of 25% out there – don’t quote that on us though!
What does this mean for business?
Clearly, the cannabis industry hasn’t been suffering at all. Production facilities already have strict health and safety guidelines to follow, thus the worry of a mass contamination like at the Cargill meat-packing plant, is very low.
However, some provinces have implemented stronger restrictions and cannabis stores have been negatively affected as they were legally obliged to close in order to prevent further spread of the virus.
With that in mind, online sales have increased significantly for many businesses and have struggled to meet customers’ demands. Especially with the newfound stress couriers like Canada Post have had with delivering so many parcels.
Is smoking weed during COVID-19 okay?
In short – no. As we know now, coronavirus primarily affects the lungs. Smoking anything with a lung condition is a recipe for disaster.
On the other hand, there are much less harmful ways to enjoy your evening high without smoking. Consider using edibles or a dry herb vaporizer to reduce the risk of health complications. We’re not going to give you any medical advice here, but it only seems logical to avoid powerful lung irritants during a pandemic which affects the lungs!
Check out our write-up on smoking vs vaping weed to understand more about the health implications and benefits on transitioning from smoking to vaping cannabis! We’re hugely in favor of the latter as there are so many ways it’s flat out better.
If you’re vaping (or smoking weed) during these days, make sure to practice safe health and don’t share your vapes, joints, or pipes with others. Keep a safe distance between one another if you’re having a session and keep your munchies to yourself!
Consider alternative ways of consuming cannabis if you’re a current smoker – vaporizing and even edibles are a far healthier alternative.
Stay safe out there everyone and remember to play it cool, we’re all in this together and we’ll make it through! Thanks for reading and catch you next time.
Our friends over at TVape have done an article highlighting the cannabis coronavirus data and trends of consumption during coronavirus. Check out their article for detailed statistics and info regarding the Canadian cannabis scene!