In the last month, a record number of Massachusetts residents have received medical marijuana cards. The spike in patients stems from Governor Baker deeming recreational marijuana businesses “nonessential.” Recreational marijuana retailwill remain closed until the pandemic subsides.
In a period from March 23 through April 21 the state reports an increase of 7,235 new medical marijuana patients, according to The Boston Globe. In the previous 30-day period, only 2,097 new patient registrations were recorded. The most recent patient count in Massachusetts is 69,787.
David Torrisi of the Commonwealth Dispensary Association said, “The increase doesn’t surprise me — we’ve always believed that more than a majority of [recreational] customers are using cannabis for medical needs such as anxiety, pain relief, and sleep disorders. There’s a direct relation to the recreational shutdown.”
Despite the large increase in medical marijuana patients, most of the marijuana sales in Massachusetts come from recreational sales. Sales may suffer for a little while longer as recreational customers are going back to the black market – at least for now. The state is not receiving any marijuana tax dollars right now because medical marijuana patients don’t pay sales tax.
Once recreational marijuana sales resume, sales are expected to increase significantly – even with some Massachusetts residents currently out of work.