Massachusetts Adult-Use Stores Lockdown Cost Industry $2 Million Per Day

Adult-use cannabis provisioning centers in Massachusetts reopened on Memorial Day after a two-month lockdown that may have cost these retailers collectively almost $2 million per day.

In interviews done by Marijuana Business Daily, store owners reported that biggest challenge was meeting demand and obeying the Massachusetts’ rules for reopening. Those rules allowed preorders place online over the phone to be delivery curbside.

One store owner, Ellen Rosenfeld, who also is CommCan President, said the Monday reopening at her dispensary in Millis, southwest of Boston, as “controlled chaos.” She said technical issues with her online ordering and point-of-sales software were at fault.

Once solved, she said her dispensary was able to serve a typical day’s demand of 400 to 500 customers. Curbside delivery takes about three to four times as long as serving customers in her lobby.

She estimates her company lost $2.5 million in sales revenue while her dispensary was closed. She hoped her provisioning center could recoup that lost revenue this year.

Other Massachusetts dispensaries also reported a reduced volume of customers as a direct result of social-distancing measures.

Brandon Pollock, CEO of Theory Wellness, said there’s an incredible amount of demand for cannabis in Massachusetts. The way his adult-use dispensaries in Great Barrington and Chicopee in western Massachusetts handled the changes was to only allow a certain number of appointment slots her hour.

Pollock estimates his company lost roughly $10 million in revenue during the two months of shut down. His task now is to scale up its curbside delivery method to serve a higher number of customers.

New England Treatment Access President Amanda Rositano said her company’s combined medical and recreational cannabis sales fell by roughly 85 percent with the industry on shut down.

On Memorial Day, her Northampton center served less than a quarter of the customers it typically had served before the pandemic, she said.

One Massachusetts dispensary owner said she saw a big boost in order volume on Memorial Day. On Nantucket, The Green Lady Dispensary experienced 1.5 times the volume of orders from customers. Nicole Campbell said her store is the only one on the island.

As recreational stores in Massachusetts grapple with the ins-and-outs of coronavirus-era sales, it remains to be seen how the shutdown impacted adult-use cannabis supply in the state.

Ryan Crandall, senior vice president of sales at multistate operator MariMed, said there was a shortage of cannabis supply before the pandemic hit the state.

Theory Wellness’ Pollock said he believes the hiatus in adult-use sales came with a silver lining, giving Massachusetts’ recreational cannabis supply “a chance over the last couple months to catch up with demand.

Mike Brennan
Mike Brennan is Editor of Michigan Marijuana Report (mimarijuanareport) a cannabis, hemp and CBD news portal website for Michigan and the Great Lakes States. He has been a professional reporter and editor since 1981.