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People turning to cannabis to cope with stress during coronavirus pandemic

"March 19 was the first week of the shelter-in-place order... So just like how everybody stocked up on toilet paper, they stocked up on their cannabis."

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — It's no secret that many people are looking for ways to relief stress during the coronavirus pandemic, and there's one particular stress-reliever that's in high demand: cannabis.

Monday was 4/20, the unofficial cannabis holiday. And while a lot of people were out in lines to take advantage of deals celebrating the day, some in the industry said this 4/20 was unlike many others financially.

"4/20 came early for us this year. It came on March 19," stated Kimberly Cargile, CEO of An Alternative Therapeutic. "March 19 was the first week of the shelter-in-place order, and many people were not sure what was going to happen. So just like how everybody stocked up on toilet paper, they stocked up on their cannabis, and we saw the biggest sale day of the year."

People are also using marijuana as a remedy to ease their anxiety during the coronavirus pandemic, some of whom are first time users or those who rarely smoke.

RELATED: Once considered illegal, now 'essential' cannabis businesses adjusting amid 4/20 celebrations

"We have seen many new people trying cannabis as an alternative to alcohol or pharmaceuticals during this stressful time," Cargile said.

Meanwhile, some people are moving away from smoking marijuana.

Katrina Rosseini, a strategic consultant in the industry, said that many are changing their habits because of health warnings.

"Because of the coronavirus, people have been very fearful of health-related risks," Rosseini said. "And the trend has been shifted towards edibles and consumables. In California specifically, the No.1 top seller in March was edibles."

As other industries struggle to stay open during this time, Rosseini says dispensaries are seeing steady business.

The California Bureau of Cannabis Control tells us, from their understanding, sales have "ebbed and flowed" throughout the industry.

"The product is still selling. It is an essential. People take their cannabis seriously. Not only on the medicinal side, but recreationally as well," Rosseini said. "A lot of people who are using it recreationally are using it to relax. This pandemic is uncharted waters. We don't know what to expect tomorrow. People are using it for insomnia or to deal with anxiety."

Follow the conversation on Facebook with Kevin John.



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WATCH MORE: Governor Newsom gives an update on California's coronavirus (COVID-19) response | April 21, 2020

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