The Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission recently released a graph detailing dispensary sales of medicinal cannabis in Maryland between April 2019 and March 2020 and what it shows says a great deal about the robust industry in Maryland and how patients have responded to COVID-19.
The chart shows that total sales over the past year are at $294,259,594. As readers would imagine, monthly sales have increased significantly, with April 2019’s sales at $16,924,176 and March 2020’s sales at $33,495,662.
One of the most significant jumps in sales occurred between February 2020 and March 2020, where sales went from $27,567,518 to $33,495,662. That was after a slight dip in sales between January 2020 and February 2020 where sales went from $29,948,588 to $27,567,518; but still it is the most significant increase in sales over the past year. And the March increase in sales also coincides with the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic—or at least, the start of when Marylanders and others all around the country began to take it seriously. On March 11, the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission (MMCC) began introducing suggestions on how dispensaries should operate to encourage social distancing and by late March, Maryland’s dispensaries had been declared “essential businesses.”
Anecdotally, The Outlaw Report spoke to patients who were purchasing more cannabis than usual due to concerns that dispensaries might close or that supply could dwindle quickly. That quiet rush to dispensaries coincided with the first examples of grocery stores being swarmed by concerned customers. By the end of March, local media had spoken to a number of Maryland dispensary owners who have said sales have increased during the pandemic even as many other businesses are struggling.
Christopher Jensen of Mana Supply in Edgewater, MD told Baltimore Business Journal his store’s sales have increased by more than 30% in March and Mitch Trellis of Remedy Columbia told the Baltimore Sun, “every store in the state is busier than they’ve ever been.” And according to Marijuana Business Daily, “average per-patient sales in March 2020 was just shy of $350, the highest figure in the program’s history.”
Marijuana Business Daily used the sales information provided by the MMCC and graphed it alongside the number of medicinal cannabis patients in Maryland which has also been on the rise. Marijuana Business Daily said that the amount of patients has grown by almost 34,000 people since last year, a 55% increase. They added that 1.6% of Maryland’s population—which is a little over six million people—are registered as medicinal cannabis patients, which is higher than the United States average. Maryland also has one of the highest numbers of dispensaries per capita in the United States.