The consumption of cannabis has spiked in the United States (US) after the US government imposed lockdowns and restrictions in movement amid coronavirus pandemic, as per media reports.

The shares of the marijuana dispensaries have seen an unprecedented surge this week following reports of a spike in demand as consumers attempted to hoard it for months in fear of prolonged shutdown of stores across the US due to novel coronavirus, Associated Press reported.

The adult-use cannabis sales last week revealed a two-fold increase in demand in California and a 50% spike in Washington state, according to data from industry tracker Headset mentioned in the AP report.

Canaccord Genuity analyst Bobby Burleson believes that other states are likely seeing similar upticks in sales. He added: “This strength has benefited wholesale as well.”

Currently, MedMen Enterprises, a US-based cannabis company, is among the big gainers. Its shares are up by 54 per cent this week, which had remained down about 91 per cent in 2019.

Demand in India

While Canadian and US marijuana companies are listed in the stock markets, cannabis consumption in India remains to be illegal.

According to Priya Mishra, founder of Hempvati and India’s first female cannabis activist /TedX speaker, in India, it is nearly impossible to ascertain the demand for cannabis since it is still illegal. However, she believes that a rise in demand for cannabis in the US and Canada may impact the medical supplies of marijuana in India as the country imports cannabis for medical purposes from abroad.

She informed that consumers in Delhi and Mumbai, however, are trying to buy in bulk to stock up the marijuana for at least two months due to prolonged shutdown as coronavirus spreads across India.

She added: “India doesn’t have any cannabis compies listed in the stock market. So, illegal consumption is happening throughout the country for recreational use of it. I am told that the suppliers in India have received bulk orders from their customers.”

She further added: “People in India are trying to buy it for a good two months.”

In 2019, the US and Canada had seen cannabis shares in the market plunging as investors’ enthusiasm about the prospects of strong growth lost its lustre.