Florida is seeing a surge in sales of medical marijuana and CBD hemp products as more people turn to them to treat their anxiety, insomnia and pain during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Voters in 2016 approved the state’s new medical marijuana industry, and sales have been rising ever since. With patients limiting their trips out of their homes, some have been buying more each time they go to dispensaries.
With the rise in demand, wait times at dispensaries in some instances rose from what used to take only 10 to 15 minutes — even without an appointment — to backlogs of dozens of patients at any given time, potentially lasting hours.
Sales have risen significantly when compared with last year.
From Sept. 11 to Sept. 17, dispensaries sold about 134 million milligrams of medical marijuana statewide, a 47% increase since mid-March. Over the same six-month period last year, the state saw about a 13.1% increase.
Cannabidiol, often called CBD, saw a more dramatic increase. CBD is non-psychoactive, meaning it does not result in the same euphoric effects as marijuana. It’s marketed as a way to treat anxiety and depression. From mid-March to mid-September last year, CBD sales in Florida had decreased about 8.7% but over the same period this year, sales have shot up by about 59%. [Read more at South Florida Sun Sentinel]