Int J Drug Policy. 2021 Aug 3;98:103384. doi: 10.1016/j.drugpo.2021.103384. Online ahead of print.
BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Following emergency declarations related to COVID-19 in the United States, many states issued stay-at-home orders and designated essential business categories. Most states allowed medical and/or non-medical adult-use cannabis retailers to remain open. This study assesses changes in cannabis sales across Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, and Washington before and during the pandemic.
METHODS: Pre-tax sales data from cannabis marketplaces in four states were analyzed to identify trends from January 2018-December 2020. Mean monthly sales and relative percent change in mean monthly sales were compared by state from April-December (coinciding with the pandemic) in 2018, 2019, and 2020. Differences were assessed using the nonparametric Mann-Whitney-U test.
RESULTS: Mean monthly cannabis sales in all four states were higher during the pandemic period in 2020 compared to the same period in 2019. Sales reached a three-year peak in Washington in May 2020 and in Alaska, Colorado, and Oregon in July 2020. From April-December, the percent change in mean monthly sales from 2019 to 2020 was significantly higher than 2018-2019 in all four states, though Alaska saw similar increases between 2018-2019 and 2019-2020.
CONCLUSION: To date, cannabis sales in Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, and Washington have increased more during the COVID-19 pandemic than in the previous two years. In light of these increases, data monitoring by states and CDC is warranted to understand how patterns of use are changing, which populations are demonstrating changes in use, and how such changes may affect substance use and related public health outcomes.
Source: ncbi 2