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You Know What Else Sold Well During the Pandemic? Weed Edibles

  • July 13, 2020

Ben Emerson had never tried cannabis edibles before his birthday in April. He was raised in the Evangelical Presbyterian Church, which he left five years ago, and marijuana was “this thing that I had never really even thought that I was allowed to do,” he said.

“And then I’m like, ‘Wait, I can actually make up my own mind about this.’”

For his first foray, Mr. Emerson, 38, chose strawberry-flavored gummies, which he ordered online and picked up curbside at a dispensary near his home in Portland, Ore. “I’m not super-interested in smoking anything,” he said. “But as soon as I decided I wanted to try cannabis, I wanted to try something edible.”

Anxious times (say, a global pandemic) call for palliatives, like meditation, exercise or, in some cases, weed. More than a dozen states declared cannabis stores and medical marijuana dispensaries essential businesses, along with pharmacies and grocery stores, as the coronavirus sent millions of Americans home, with or without jobs.

Since March, the cannabis industry has seen an influx of new customers: Eaze, an online cannabis retailer, told The Associated Press that first-time purchases of cannabis were up more than 50 percent in early March. And as fear of inhaled products has risen — spurred partly by studies of “vaping illness” and exacerbated by respiratory risks associated with the coronavirus — many consumers have opted to enjoy cannabis in edible form.

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