Southwest Oklahoma medical marijuana dispensaries see increase in sales during pandemic
LAWTON, Okla. (TNN) - Oklahoma’s medical marijuana industry continues to grow and southwest Oklahoma is seeing the boom as well.
While some industries experienced profit loss through the pandemic, the medical marijuana industry in Oklahoma didn’t.
In fact, it’s been quite the opposite.
Budtender at Bud’s Medical Marijuana Dispensary said her dispensary experienced a crazy rush this morning, with customers coming in non-stop.
And that’s no different than what they’ve seen over the last year.
During the pandemic, she thinks some people turned marijuana to relieve anxiety and other illnesses.
“What we noticed when the pandemic first hit, it was a little slowed down in the beginning,” she said, “I think just people getting used to being at home and then once they realized this is kind of how we’re living, we had a big increase in sales, a lot more traffic. We saw a lot of new patients coming in. I think it motivated some people to get cards and just hop on that when they could with the downtime.”
Buzzed Leaf dispensary owner Christopher Moore said maybe people were just bored.
Either way, the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority reported collecting about $20.3 million in state and local sales taxes from January to March this year alone.
“People are home, they’re spending a lot more time at home,” he said,” so there’s definitely more recreational time, lesiurely time to do the things that are actually legally now, so sales are always rising and it’s only going to continue as the states go full recreational.”
Wiggins said it’s great that people have the option now to treat illnesses in an organic way.
She also hopes the state is moving towards legalizing recreational marijuana.
“It’s a good option for people who are sick and even people who have anxiety,” she said. “That’s something that’s helping people, it really is and we’ve seen that. There’s studies that show it doesn’t necessarily treat and cure but it’s going to relieve those symptoms for them and I think that that’s a fantastic thing.”
Moore said he believes Oklahoma is headed in that direction sooner rather than later.
“There’s a lot more options other than the pharmaceutical ways and the traditions back in the day,” he said, “and it’s not good for everybody to have one option or two options to go to, so there’s a lot of benefits in the medical marijuana field, not only from the health benefits but to the job aspects, the opening up of the state to better things and better traditions to come.”
Oklahoma’s cannabis industry employees now exceed the number of construction workers. More than 360,000 Oklahomans have medical marijuana licenses now.
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