Marijuana and alcohol businesses notice trends amid pandemic

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EUGENE, Ore. — According to the Oregon Liquor Control Commission, marijuana and liquor sales across Oregon saw record sales in the month of March.

In the third week of March, marijuana sales were up 65 percent compared to the same week in 2019. There was a 30 percent increase this March when compared to last year.

RELATED: MARIJUANA BUSINESSES SEE UPTICK IN SALES AMID PANDEMIC

Travis Mackenzie is the co-owner of TJ’s Organic Provisions in Eugene.

“We really saw kind of a surge when the stay-at-home order first came out,” Mackenzie said. “I think people were like, ‘well I probably better stock up if I’m not going to be able to go anywhere,’ and then it kind of leveled off a little bit.”

Mackenzie said that his shop will continue adhering to strict social distancing policies, as the doors are still open for business.

“We all started off as medical dispensaries,” Mackenzie said. “We have medically-sensitive customers and patients, and we try to be very sensitive to them. We have seen that they’re still coming, getting their medicine and taking advantage of delivery.”

Mackenzie said that, at the moment, sales are steady.

“We’ve definitely not seen it drop off,” Mackenzie said. “It doesn’t seem to be a situation where people are afraid to come and get their cannabis.”

According to the OLCC, state-controlled liquor stores sold nearly $66 million in hard liquor sales in March.

Wine retailers have also noticed the effects.

Randy Stokes is the manager of Sundance Wine Cellars in Eugene.

“When the order first came down — that first week, we did an amazing amount of business,” Stokes said. “It was higher than the same week the previous year and then it slowed down.

Stokes said that business is picking up, but that is shown in a different way than before.

RELATED: LOCAL RESTAURANTS TURN TO ALCOHOL DELIVERY TO STEM LOSSES

“Since we are all trying to take care of those who are at risk, people want to stay at home more and show up here less,” Stokes said.

Adjustments have been made to how Stokes does business with increased sanitation and social distancing, as well as the option for curbside pickup.

“Instead of buying two or three bottles, they’re buying a case so they make fewer visits,” Stokes said.

Stokes said he is grateful for his job and is striving to make his customers feel comfort amid the pandemic.

“We want people to know that, our community and the people we serve here, are people we care about,” Stokes said. “We want to make this interaction as comfortable as possible.”





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