LOS ANGELES — For the cannabis community, April 20 is regarded as a weed holiday — even in pandemic.
Forget toilet papers, masks and hand sanitizers, in states that allow recreational and medicinal use, one of the top sellers during this pandemic has been cannabis.
It’s regarded as an “essential business,” and allowed to stay open during the COVID-19 crisis for medical purposes, according to data from Intelligence Firm Headset.
In some cases, dispensaries saw 159% sales increases, compared to the same day the previous year.
“Marijuana right now is a big, big mechanism for a lot of our citizens to tell you the truth. It’s helping them to cope with what’s going on, it’s helping them with their anxiety, it’s helping them with their stress… some people are so depressed they’re losing their appetite, and cannabis helps with appetites. People are losing sleep, there’s a lot of symptoms people are getting that cannabis is assisting with.”
For the past two years, Chef Rudy Santa Ana and his Cannabis Catered Events has been putting up industry events, get-togethers, educational forums, and food pairings.
While the dispensaries and delivery services are doing well, his business has slowed down.
He’s had to cancel dozens of events since the safe-at-home orders began in March, but he’s managing to continue finding projects as he practices social distancing.
“I’m trying to do the best that I can, by abiding by the guidelines that the state has put in place, podcasts are an essential business, I’ve done a couple podcasts at this time, people have hired me to do cooking at their homes, private cooking, I’ve done that a couple times, some people have made some private orders, I’ve sent those out via fed ex, I am blessed that people are still contacting me, people are still in touch with me and people are still paying attention to what I’m doing.”
And with April 20, traditionally a holiday for cannabis users to get together, there will be no large physical gatherings.
Chef Rudy said there are some activities that people can take part in.
“There’s going to be a lot of concert type, knowledge, education, and advocacy on a lot of people’s pages so if you look at my Instagram that day. I’ll probably be part of at least 3 different livestreams that day going on for 4/20.”
And as the demand for marijuana products remain high, Chef Rudy said he’ll continue spreading his advocacies — and doing online activities with some of the brands that he works with.
He’s hoping that the lockdowns can end soon so he can get back to his events, something he was hoping to bring to the Philippines by the end of this year.